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

NoNic4Neal
NoNic4Neal

January 18th, 2011, 9:35 pm #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!

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

January 18th, 2011, 10:24 pm #102

Well 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 January 18th, 2011, 10:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

January 18th, 2011, 10:55 pm #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...
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

January 18th, 2011, 10:56 pm #104

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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

January 18th, 2011, 10:58 pm #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 January 18th, 2011, 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

January 18th, 2011, 10:59 pm #106

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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

January 18th, 2011, 11:01 pm #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 January 18th, 2011, 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

February 3rd, 2011, 2:15 pm #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]
[font=ARIAL,HELVETICA,'SANS SERIF']
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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 February 3rd, 2011, 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BigGrazza
BigGrazza

February 8th, 2011, 5:35 pm #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

Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

October 4th, 2011, 7:38 pm #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.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

October 21st, 2012, 3:20 pm #111

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.

Members who relapse cannot join up again, but they still have access to all of our resources to help them to try to quit. I am going to attach some newer videos to this string addressing this issue:


Last edited by Joel Spitzer on October 21st, 2012, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

December 12th, 2012, 11:16 pm #113

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.

Members who relapse cannot join up again, but they still have access to all of our resources to help them to try to quit.

A few minutes ago I copied and pasted my reply from last time a member relapsed, not realizing that it had a comment in there about how the member back then had emailed about the relapse. This was not the case here--the member posted about the relapse and per our relapse policy, the post was removed. Just want to avoid any confusion here.

I am going to attach two videos to this string addressing the issue of relapse:

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indianscorpion29
indianscorpion29

February 5th, 2013, 9:33 pm #114

I read this thread and this is a good one to prevent any relapse.
Initially in this thread, I saw a few members pondering over the possibility of a member relapsing and remaining silent over it to save his membership.
Well, that will not happen with anyone.


Hypothetically, If relapse occurs for me, the first thing I would do is send an email to Joel and John requesting them to ban my membership.
I respect Joel, John and the members and the whyquit community as a whole so much that I cannot lie or hide a relapse.
I am guessing all the membes would feel the same way.
Joel and John have embarked on a selfless crusade and not expecting a penny in return. Hats off gentlemen.

I have been nicotine free since nov 9 2012, I am sticking to my personal commitment to never take another PUff.

Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

February 20th, 2013, 6:55 pm #115

I pop up this thread every time I see that a member of the board has relapsed. Sadly, there was a post up earlier today that was from a person who joined back in early 2011, and posted today that he or she had just quit smoking this past week. As far as I could tell the person had never posted on the board before even though he or she had been a member since 2011. We had a similar incident back in 2006 and for speed sake I am copying and pasting the commentary that I used back then talking about a similar situation. The paragraphs that are bolded apply to this particular episode.


Joel


Post from 2006
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]We must apologize for an incident that happened this morning. Around 1:00 a.m. there was a post put up by a member who had joined back in June, relapsed in November and who had just quit again a few weeks ago. The reason I felt the need to apologize was the post remained on the board for almost five hours before a manager got by to see it and remove it. Even a newer member wrote she was confused by the post since she was under the impression that we had a relapse policy that immediately removes a person's membership when they relapse.

I feel there are four things that need to be explained regarding this incident. First, why was the post up for five hours. A number of our managers are in fact light sleepers. Often we wake up do a quick check of the board, make sure things are in order and go back to sleep. There are days though where all four of us actually sleep through the night and a post like this may not be seen. That is what happened here which is why the post stayed up as long as it did.

The second explanation needed is why the person was a member after he or she relapsed back in November. The reason for this is that we had no way to know that the member had relapsed for you see, the particular member never posted at our board once since joining. Do we have people who are on our member lists who may be smoking? I am sure we do, but we cannot act on these people until we know about it.

The third thing I want to explain is how senseless it was for the particular person to have joined back in January. There was absolutely no reason for the person to have joined back then, considering that after he or she joined, he or she never posted once. There is only one reason for a person to join up at Freedom--because he or she wants to post on the board. Non-members have full access to everything we have to offer at Freedom except the ability to post. As was quite evident in this incident, the person never posted. If he or she simply stuck around our board to read from June to November, relapsed, quit again this January, realized that maybe becoming a posting member could help his or her quit, he or she could have simply joined up for the first time. Instead by handling it the way he or she did, the person lost all ability to ever be a posting member again. This was a wasted opportunity for this person.

The last thing I want to point out from this incident is that the person very likely did any reading during the time he or she was a member. I am assuming this because of how the person titled his or her one and only post. It was titled, Nicodemon and I. It also had the term "nicodemon" in the body of the letter. Considering the fact that every single time the term "Nicodemon" has been written on the board since last June, 26 times in all, the post Once and for all, there is no Nicodemon has been kicked up. The fact that the person still had the belief of the legitimacy of that term, as well as no understanding of our relapse policy make it pretty clear that he or she did very little reading while at Freedom.

Recently we implemented a new last step in our application process. We are sending out our rules and regulations, relapse policy, our definition of cold turkey quitting and requiring that all applicants submit a response to us that they fully understand all of these terms and will abide to all of the rules. The reason we make it so difficult to get in is that we want to make sure we are getting the right people in at Freedom, or maybe more accurately, that we are getting people in at the right time in their quits and in their lives. The person involved in this incident obviously joined at the wrong time and it cost the person any chance of ever getting in again.

Back in June the person submitted an application saying he or she read the relapse policy, the courtesy and rules, and quit cold turkey. He or she got in the right words yet apparently read nothing of the rules. Again, this lack of understanding was his or her loss. We are trying to minimize the chances of this happening again.

If you are a new reader seeing Freedom for the first time, read and learn all you can here before you join. Even if you are off for days or weeks now, familiarize yourself with out materials. Make sure we are the right group for you and make sure that you are ready to commit to make this quit last forever. Whether you ever join up or not is not important, but learning all that you can to secure your reasons for having quit is crucial to your quit and may be crucial to your health and your life.

If you are already a member and didn't understand our Rules and Courtesies before, or our relapse policies, please go back and read them now. They are important at helping you to keep your membership as well as your quit.

The more you read and learn here at Freedom and at www.whyquit.com, the stronger your resolve will always stay to stick to the commitment that you made when you joined or should have made to yourself even if you never joined to never take another puff!

Joel

As per our relapse rules, the post from the member was pulled and the person's membership was deleted. As our rules clearly say:

RELAPSE PERMANENTLY REVOKES POSTING PRIVILEGES - Members are limited to one Freedom membership per lifetime. See Freedom's Relapse Policy.




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Last edited by Joel Spitzer on February 20th, 2013, 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

February 22nd, 2013, 9:58 pm #116

Copied from above but applicable to a relapse that happened today:
[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. The person involved was nice enough to notify me by email, honoring our relapse policy of not posting on the board.

Members who relapse cannot join up again, but they still have access to all of our resources to help them to try to quit. I am going to attach some newer videos to this string addressing this issue:




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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

May 21st, 2013, 10:28 am #117

Sadly, having to pop this up because of a member losing his posting privileges due to cigar use. Here is the link to a string that addresses the issue of cigars and nicotine: http://ffn.yuku.com/topic/22895
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

November 15th, 2013, 2:32 pm #118

[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. The person involved was nice enough to notify me by email, honoring our relapse policy of not posting on the board.[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]

Members who relapse cannot join up again, but they still have access to all of our resources to help them to try to quit. 


Special note on this particular case. I am not really sure if the person involved feels that he or she has actually relapsed, as the person informed us that he or she has taken up e-cigarettes. 


Here are a couple of videos addressing this particular issue:


Nicotine is nicotine is nicotine
Nicotine Addiction
First television ads for e-cigarettes with the theme "Reclaim your freedom"





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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

January 26th, 2014, 3:57 am #119

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.

Members who relapse cannot join up again, but they still have access to all of our resources to help them to try to quit.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

June 11th, 2014, 9:39 pm #120

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.

Members who relapse cannot join up again, but they still have access to all of our resources to help them to try to quit.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

October 15th, 2014, 2:22 pm #121

[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. The person involved was nice enough to notify me by email, honoring our relapse policy of not posting on the board.

Members who relapse cannot join up again, but they still have access to all of our resources to help them to try to quit.[/font]



Additional note here:


The member had started a new string early this morning saying that he or she was four days into a quit and needed help. I responded several hours later before realizing that he or she was not a newly joined member, but rather a member who joined back in 2009. As per our relapse policy, I removed the new string.   
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

December 7th, 2014, 4:35 pm #122

No one has relapsed that I know of. I just realized that the video The Freedom from Nicotine support board's zero tolerance relapse policy needs to be attached to this string.

The Freedom from Nicotine support board's zero tolerance relapse policy


[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Video discusses the reasons for the Freedom from Nicotine support site's zero tolerance relapse policy. [/font]
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[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Related videos:[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
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[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Are you ready for Freedom[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
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[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]The Freedom from Nicotine support board[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
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[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]There is no legitimate reason to relapse[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
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[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]It's inevitable, some smokers are going to relapse[/font]
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