Good news, our members don't relapse anymore...

NoNic4Neal
Joined: 14 Jan 2011, 00:33

18 Jan 2011, 21:35 #101

I somehow found myself on this old thread and really wanted to comment. I am currently in Day # 9 of my freedom from nicotine. As a new member I believe that the relapse policy is not strict, it is necessary. It certainly wouldn't help my quit if I came on here and had to read about people relapsing and being told it was alright and they were welcome back and maybe they would do better next time. I can just see my junkie thinking kicking in saying that if they relapsed and came back, then I could use nicotine some more also. The real fact is that I came here to learn how to stop using any nicotine for any reason, and that should always be the focus of this forum. I like Freedom and it's relapse policy just the way it is!

JohnPolito
Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

18 Jan 2011, 22:24 #102

ImageWell said, Neil.  You should have seen this place in the fall of 1999 before Joel arrived.  We were an utter mess with relapse parties a regular occurrence.  What's a relapse party?  Well, one member would return to the boards announcing their relapse and the rest of us would shower them with so many hugs and well wishes that it would actually invite others to relapse and return for their well wishes too.  

How bad was it?  A just released study of 679 members joining a popular quitting forum found that only 3.5% of regular members (members not paying for the site's premium service)  had remained quit for a full 18 months as determined by checks at 3, 6, 12 and 18 months.   At the 6 month mark only 6.6% had remained quit at both the 3 and 6 month marks.  And how did the 651 members subscribing to its premium service do?  Not much better with 7.4% at 6 months and just 4.5% at 18 months.  

But then again it wouldn't surprise me at all if back in 1999 we were experiencing similar rates.  Relapse was everywhere and it was heartbreaking.  If Joel had not arrived when he did we very likely would have closed Freedom's doors. The policies in place today came naturally and were born of necessity, the need to create at least one place on earth where nicotine has no voice.   Still just one rule ... none!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x11)
Last edited by JohnPolito on 18 Jan 2011, 22:44, edited 2 times in total.

Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

18 Jan 2011, 22:55 #103

We have always been kind of out on a limb on this--dismissed by other sites and most experts in the field. I am used to being in this position though, I was under attack from most professionals for espousing such a radical concept that nicotine was addictive and that tobacco use was a way of feeding the nicotine addiction. I was also always attacked for running cold turkey programs, being constantly told that people couldn't quit by going cold turkey and that no one would come to a cold turkey program. Fortunately, I learned early on to dismiss the views of the experts in this field.

I am going to attach links to a few strings addressing this history I have had, and then attach a few videos addressing these issues too:


First, in this post, links to relevant strings:


I liked my other support group more
Is relapse a natural part of the addiction process?
"What ever you do don't quit cold turkey!"
"Isn't quitting cold turkey too dangerous?" 
Setting Quit Dates (Another example of how we often find ourselves with odds with other sites and experts)
Is cold turkey the only way to quit? (I always include this one when discussing cold turkey issues)


Videos to follow in next few posts...

Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

18 Jan 2011, 22:56 #104


Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

18 Jan 2011, 22:58 #105



Video discussing how people quit in the real world--which is important to us because we base our approach on real world quitters.
Last edited by Joel Spitzer on 18 Jan 2011, 23:43, edited 1 time in total.

Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

18 Jan 2011, 22:59 #106


Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

18 Jan 2011, 23:01 #107



This one really shows how historically experts in the field seemed to not be able to see the obvious when it came to dealing with smoking and addiction. As we see it, in many ways, experts in this field still don't seem to get it. Most other sites are built upon and operate under the premise that experts in this field are experts in smoking cessation. Hence, we often find ourselves at odds with them. We can't change the world though.Our Mission Statementand ourReading at other quit smoking sitesare good strings to go through explaining how other sites see things differently than we do, as well as how we see many things very differently than them.
Last edited by Joel Spitzer on 18 Jan 2011, 23:21, edited 1 time in total.

Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

03 Feb 2011, 14:15 #108

[font=ARIAL,GEORGIA,'TIMES NEW ROMAN',TIMES,SERIF]Sadly, I am bringing this one up today because a member did smoke. I always prefer to knock up this thread when this occurs, to illustrate how infrequently we have to pull posts from members who post a relapse. We never want to leave an impression to readers here that we hide the fact that relapse can happen. We make it clear in our rules that if a person posts a relapse they will instantly lose posting privileges and that the post will be removed. There are times though where a member will still feel the need to post, often thinking that they can help others to avoid a similar fate. [font=ARIAL,HELVETICA,'SANS SERIF']I am going to lift a couple of comments made in this string in the past. They address this issue:[/font]
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Does the relapsed person have a valuable message to pass along? Not really. All of our members already know or strongly suspect how they would feel if they were to relapse. Many of our members know from their own past experiences. They can tell you all about it and how from the past experience that they know that they want to keep their quits and are now living proof that up to this point in time they have been able to keep this quit going by simply sticking to their new commitment to never take another puff!



Joel



From above:
From: JoelSent: 2/8/2004 11:28 AM
Hello David:

We have no problem with our members learning from each other's past relapses. We are just making it impossible for them to learn from the future relapse of any member. You are right that other programs recognize that relapses happen to people with drug addictions. We know people relapse too. We just don't see it as a natural or more importantly, an inevitable event. Our post Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process? addresses this concept. Here is our comment from that string that points out that we are coming from a different slant on this issue.

Most other boards, and in fact most professional programs and nicotine addiction experts see relapsing as a normal part of the addiction process. In a way we are out on a limb here at Freedom. We don't accept relapse as a normal process of addiction. We see a relapse as a natural process of not understanding and/or accepting ones own addiction. For if the true implication of a relapse is understood, any sane and recovering addict would choose not to relapse.

Every recovering nicotine addict here has the tools in place not to relapse, which is why he or she is a recovering addict now and not an active user. He or she understands full well, up to this point in time that he or she could not control quantity of cigarettes or duration of the relapse. If nicotine is readministered, the relapse will take on a life of its own, and has the full potential of taking your life in the process.

If you keep that understanding and keep in practice our one simple principle, a relapse is not going to be a natural occurrence and in fact, a relapse is going to be an impossibility. For as long as you follow one simple principal, you will never be able to go back to smoking. The principle, is just remembering if you want to keep control of your addiction never take another puff!



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Last edited by Joel Spitzer on 03 Feb 2011, 14:25, edited 1 time in total.

BigGrazza
Joined: 14 Jan 2011, 13:27

08 Feb 2011, 17:35 #109

This is definitely the right policy for me.

As Nick mentioed earlier in this thread, coming on and reading about others having relapsed and (maybe) successfully quitting again, would only make my own quit harder to hang onto and would fuel the junkie thinking.

I applaud, accept and continue to commit to this policy - it is what sets Freedom apart.

Thank you - NTAP.

Graeme

Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

04 Oct 2011, 19:38 #110

Sadly, I am bringing this one up today because a member did smoke. I always prefer to knock up this thread when this occurs, to illustrate how infrequently we have to pull posts from members who post a relapse. We never want to leave an impression to readers here that we hide the fact that relapse can happen. We make it clear in our rules that if a person posts a relapse they will instantly lose posting privileges and that the post will be removed. The person involved was nice enough to notify me by email, honoring our relapse policy of not posting on the board.