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Lets Ask Bill W.

Question & Answer # 28 | Q&A index

How many drug addicts are there in A.A. and in the organization similar to A.A. which operates among drug addicts?

Answer
We have quite a number of drug addicts who were once alcoholics. So far, I don't know of any case of pure drug addiction that we have been able to approach. In other words, we can no more approach a simon-pure addict than the outsider can usually approach us. We are in exactly the same position with then that the doctor and the clergyman have been in respect to the alcoholic. We just don't talk that fellow's language. He always looks at us and says, "Well, those alcoholics are the scum of the earth and besides, what do they know about addiction?"

Now, however, since we have a good number of addicts who were once alcoholics, those addicts in their turn are making an effort, here and there, to transfer the thing over to the straight addict. In that way we hope the bridge is going to be crossed. There may be a case here and there that has been helped. But in all, I suppose, there may be about 50 cases of real morphine addiction in former alcoholics who have been helped by A.A. Of course we have a great many barbital users, but we don't consider those people particularly difficult if they really want to do something about it; and particularly if it's associated with liquor. They seem to get out of it after a while. But where you have morphine, or some of those other derivatives, then it gets very tough. Then you have to have a "dope" talk to a "dope," and I hope that we can some day find a bridge to the addict. (Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies, June 1945)

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