So, you are roughly 18 months clean of narcotics—that’s amazing. *high Five, with gusto* *hug*
Let me buy you some coffee….
You want to influence policy, even better. You want to use the organizational infrastructure and skills of a 12-step fellowships to—wait let me slow you down there. That requires some critical thinking. Because there are some firm guidelines that shouldn’t be tampered with for any cause, to save and protect the original cause of any 12-Step. It is an institution of sanctuary for addicts that has gotten more results than any other program in history. It is loosely affiliated and is driven by only one purpose, to help people battle the addiction of disease.
You have your pet project that is now in the halls of legislation, Missouri House Bill 236. It is a good Samaritan Law that allows medical workers to come and not prosecute the caller, who is in a number of cases also getting high. In reality, that doesn’t prosecute other addicts from taking their over dosing fellow users to the hospital. In the same breath, it doesn’t include Naloxone, which is what some recent Chicago transfers have advocated for in the Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.
However, it is subject to the whims and games of American politics. Something that is hard for the most thick-skinned political operatives to cope with, let alone someone just entering recovery. And with it, are the whims and games of politics that brings me to my two main points. The organization and the individual.
First, the organization is a 12-step fellowship with one goal and a firm understanding with the powers that be. The fellowship does not become politicized or radicalized (political, like the SDS or economic like selling drugs at meetings circa Breaking Bad) and the powers the be, law enforcement, does not monitor meetings. It would be unethical to do so, seeing how a good number of attendees are court ordered. However, law enforcement is obligated to observe if nefarious activities occur like some Breaking Bad type stuff and political operatives don’t give a damn about rules or ethics (see: House of Cards), so they’d come to meetings to gain 3 points on a poll result, but I digress. I’m being cheeky on the last bold print, but to summarize this point, all distraction and possible detriment should be kept away from these fellowships. Political, or otherwise. It doesn’t need the pressure, it has enough life or death going on without adding the pressures that come with the ebbs and flows of political policy making.
By all means, excersise those rights, but think about the ramifications of your actions. Which brings me to my second point: the individuals you organize. When fighting laws that harm addicts, you tend to attract addicts. There should be clear boundaries with every level of involvement. There needs to be a limits on involvement of your recruits, for example one year clean. Allowing the freshly recovered to engage directly, can be detrimental to your cause, but will certainly, and more importantly, take a toll on someone with only 30 days clean. The afore mentioned fellowship is founded to protect those in a vulnerable state, not whip them into a political army. The individuals you organize, should be a huge priority. You are urging someone to enter into a rough political climate, one that does not suffer fools or the weak. It is an age of full bloody well socio-political Darwinism. Highlighted daily on social media between the struggles of upstart publications like The Federalist and the bohemeth’s like Buzzfeed. Players like Sean Davis and others are seasoned pros, with thick skin. Something no addict fresh off the street could possibly develop over night. So, when seeking “bodies” at your rallies, avoid rounding up the recently clean. They often look for something to occupy their racing minds. For a time, politics fills that need, but as any seasoned pro will tell you, it fades. Most will tell you, you lose more than you win.
Lastly, if you are recently clean, don’t rule out politics, but enter it carefully. Sure up yourself and you’ll be a much more effective player in the exhausting game of our republican democracy. Stick with the meetings, they do work.