Is it appropriate to come drunk to a substance abuse meeting? I was in a group yesterday and the person sitting next to me had obviously been drinking. I truly care about this person but I left the meeting angry that this had happened. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) welcomes all people who have a desire to stay sober and there have been times where it was apparent that someone in a meeting had come after drinking. I think the rule of thumb is that as long as the person isn’t causing problems he/she is not asked to leave.
I have always struggled with having boundaries for myself. I am a people pleaser and never like to cause problems. My boundaries move in and out depending on whom I am trying not to offend in any given moment. I do not know how to respond to what happened in the group. Part of me feels like I have a right to be angry. I am coming to this group in an effort to stay clean and sober and I do not expect to smell alcohol while I am sitting there. The group should be a safe place to come to for an hour. The other part of me feels like I need to grow up and understand that by the very nature of the meeting, it is possible that someone might show up high or drunk. I think part of the problem is that many people feel that just because we struggle with drugs doesn’t mean that alcohol is a problem as well. The medical and therapeutic community feel that alcohol and drugs should be avoided for people with any substance abuse problems. I am an alcoholic and an addict so I don’t struggle with that. I can’t drink and I can’t do drugs-simple for me.
My website of 911 addiction is a place where I write about my own experience with alcohol and drugs. For anyone reading this it is not my intent to offend anyone. I talk about experiences I have had but I never use names and I never will. My only hope is that I may be able to help someone struggling with this disease.