Journey To The End Of Night
Adventures in Active Addiction and Recovery — A Philosophical Perspective

Stepping On Cigarettes — IT DOESN’T WORK. HOW Could this be true? AND WHY?

The day I was released from substance abuse treatment, I thought I’d have difficulty finding meetings — not so much locating them, but finding my way to the meeting once I got there.

A friend told me, “Just look for the motley crew smoking cigarettes in the parking lot or outside some doorway. Odds are 10 to 1 that’s your meeting.”

Of course he was right. The vast majority of anonymous fellowship members smoke or chew tobacco. I’m not just talking newcomers. Clean time is no determining factor here. Guys with six months, one year, five years, ten years, twenty or more are all equally likely to be found beneath that smoky haze hanging over the doorway. This puzzles me because the members with the most clean time, those who have supposedly worked the steps multiple times, still find themselves in the grip of an active addiction, the side effects of which are just as bad (often worse) as those resulting from alcoholism, heroin addiction, chronic crack smoking, etc. Just walk into the pulmonary unit of your local hospital and ask an ex-smoker — one the guys fighting lung cancer and losing. Smokings health impact appears manifests over a lengthy period of years – sole difference.

Every so often I’ll hear addicts, speaking of their nicotine addiction, say: ‘I tried stepping on it a few times but it didn’t work.’

to be continued….

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