I have finally been forced to revise my opinions about 12 step groups into something less negative than they have been heretofore.
I am finally ready to admit that they may be of value to some people.
Recently we had long term executive director of the Minneapolis needle exchange, Rae Eden Frank, as a guest speaker in HAMS chat. Rae is a person I greatly admire for her work in providing needle exchange and harm reduction services to the Minneapolis area. I worked as a volunteer at the exchange there and when we started HAMS I invited Rae to join our board of professional advisors.
I never knew that Rae was a member of Narcotics Anonymous until I began asking her about her background in harm reduction in HAMS chat.
In the two years I worked with her at the exchange Rae never proselytized me or anyone else, never spoke of “Higher Powers”, and never spoke of NA as the only way. I saw her only in the role of a tireless promoter of safety and enemy of HIV and Hep C.
I wish that everyone involved with 12 step programs could be open to the fact that there are different paths for different people.
We could all benefit from this–12 step members and followers of other paths alike.
My hat is off to Rae Eden Frank!