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

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 09:21 #41

Dear Plover,

In addition to what Bill has said, it's important to remember that most smokers try to quit many, many times. It's more a testimony to addiction and lack of education about addiction than to all these people being "expert at failing." They were really only "expert" at being addicted and not understanding that.

Freedom is not a site that sells the stat about needing to try 6 times to succeed. You only need to not smoke again to succeed. Many members have tried unsuccessfully to quit in the past, and I believe their experiences are valuable. Relapse is a very real option for all of us. Pretending it doesn't happen doesn't make it any less dangerous. In fact, ignoring the failures of the past is more dangerous, IMHO. This is not to say you must focus constantly on the possibility of relapsing. I think keeping a postive outlook and balance that with real education about the dangers is really key. And also where Freedom really excels.

Here are some threads, among many others, that I think are relevant:
The Law of Addiction
The Relapse of A "Social Smoker"
The One Puff Files
I don't know if I have another quit in me.
Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process?
Smoking IS an Option
Have you noticed some of these "lost" long-term quits?
Actions speak louder than words-or thought.

Heck, anything on this board: Prevent Relapse

Also, have a look at this, I think you'll find it interesting! ....Green Club

Ultimately, the only quit that matters is yours today, so hug it tight and congratulate yourself for making the best choice for the rest of your life!

Melissa
32 months
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 10:06 #42

Geese, I hate to chime in here with bad news because I like Bill's memory better than the actual figures. Our last two six month reviews were in December 2002 and March 2003 and both generated almost identical six month rates of 38% and 39% respectively. We really need to find the time to do a new assessment.

As for OTC NRT, I think that the experts are now pretty much in agreement that it's generating about 7% at six months. Six months is quickly becoming the standard for measuring cessation programs, unless of course you look at the UK's NHS programs which amazingly continues to declare success at 4 weeks when three-quarters of those declared to have successfully quit are still actively using nicotine weaning products. Go figure!

Tonight I'll dream that you're right, Bill Thanks for the smile : )
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:01

08 Feb 2004, 10:31 #43

Thanks John, Melissa and Bill. That was good info. Sort of what my friend wanted to know and so did I. Looks like I am at the best place to be! I have a friend that says she quit smoking three years ago, but still uses NRT. She only quit the smoke chemicals and the anti-social part, but she is still a nicotine addict. I'm trying to find the information, also, that relates only to nicotine effects on the body after absorbed from patches. She is convinced that the nicotine patch is safe to use indifinitely.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 10:52 #44

Here are two more articles that shed some light on issues you have raised:
Past FAILURES 52 2 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:45 PM
If this is your first time quitting 61 2 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:43 PM
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 10:55 #45

Here are two others that address the NRT issue:
NRT and Quit Meters 33 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:54 PM
Prolonging Withdrawal Symptoms 43 5 Joel. 2/7/2004 8:53 PM
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:01

08 Feb 2004, 11:31 #46

Thanks as always, good info. I never threw away my cigarettes. They're in drawer's around the house. Must be at least a carton and a half around here. It wasn't symbolic to throw them away for some reason. I think I inititally thought I would go into a panic syndrome or anxiety attack over not having cigarettes in the house. I really didn't give that much thought. Whether the cigarettes were here or at the corner market seemed irrelevant. I never from the day I decided to quit ever touched the cigarettes, nor ever put one in my purse again. Smokers are always coming and going here and leaving cigarettes here. The presence of cigarettes in the house is something that will occur; they just will not be smoked by me. I've been having fun trying to give the cigarettes away. In order to receive a free pack they must read on this website one hour. Some have made it thirty minutes. I haven't given away the first pack yet. One person has tried for the cigarettes three times. I'm hoping some of the reading is getting through. This is surely an unconventional way to get someone to educate themselves; but hey, they're going to smoke anyway.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 11:44 #47

The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom 86 1 Joel. 2/7/2004 9:36 PM
Carrying Cigarettes 78 11 Joel. 2/7/2004 9:34 PM
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 11:45 #48



Plover, relative to smoking nicotine alone is clearly far safer but science has already generated lung cancer by using the nicotine patch on rats. In fact the last study was by the U.S. government and for the first time we actually saw friction in our governement's NRT marriage with the pharmaceutical industry when the results were first published. I think they settled on wording stating that nicotine does not cause cancer but that NNK. NNK is one of the most potent carcinogens of all and it's one of the chemicals that nicotine breaks down into as it rides out it two-hour half-life inside the human body.

http://www.cancerpage.com/cancernews/cancernews2000.htm


Here are a few other recent concerns that your friend may want to read:

Science Daily - January 2003

National Institute for Health and Medical Research, Paris - May 2002

Stanford University School of Medicine - July 2001

Causes hardening of arteries - atherosclerosis
Stanford University School of Medicine - July 2001

University of Minnesota Cancer Center - November 2000

Causes brain damage & linked to chronic depression
by Dr. Barry Bittman, M.D. - 2000

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 17:30 #49

From: plover Sent: 2/7/2004 10:28 PM
Very good links, John. I read them all and forwarded info to my friend who has been on those patches too long. She wears the patches at night; so, her body never gets a break from nicotine.

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 17:32 #50

This message has been deleted by the manager or assistant manager.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Feb 2004, 17:39 #51

I deleted a question above that had nothing to do with relapsing which is what this string is about and that basically fit into the category of The Teaching of Conventional Wisdom at Freedom that was already attached to this string. The kind of question that said something to the effect that, "I read somewhere that this specific diet helps this specific problem." You can read lots of things in lots of places and we can spend a lot of time verifying or debunking facts from fiction on lots of different topics. Fortunately, we don't do any of that here at Freedom. Our focus is in smoking cessation and only on smoking cessation. The string Giving and getting medical advice online and Diversions in support groups covers why posts like this that are not centered on smoking cessation issues don't belong at Freedom and will likely be deleted.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

08 Feb 2004, 22:28 #52

Hi to all! I wanted to address what Plover said about basically not wanting to hear about previous relapses. I view this board much as I would an AA or other 12-step recovery meeting. I am not an alcoholic but I have many friends and family who are and have been to "open" AA meetings as well as having spent a number of years in Al-Anon.

In AA (and I presume other dependency recovery programs as well) one of the things they talk about is how to stay quit. They share their experience strength and hope with one another. For many people that experience is going to include some relapses. They talk about it so they can learn rom it.

We do the same thing here at Freedom. I share the fat that I have had numerous failed quits because I want to remind myself just how easy it is to blow it and because that is my experience. My strength in this quit comes from having successfully completed 92 days smoke and nicotine free by not taking another puff one day at a time. My hope in this quit is that I and smokers the world over will "get it" and remember to never take another puff.

I don't try to glamorize my relapses--in fact I am ashamed of them, especially the last one since the quit was something I really wanted (so I thought) and actually was the result of a "healing ceremony" in a local church, so my failure felt like I let God down! I bring up the fact that I relapsed that time because we were trying to move and our dog died of mysterious causes and my wife "shut down" and I couldn't handle the stress because that shows how easy it is to revert to our addiction when we don't want to face reality!

Today I am happier than I have been in a long time, far happier than I was as a smoker, and I don't want to go back! If that means I have to bring up previous quits from time to time to reinforce this quit then please accept my apologies now in advance. Unfortunately all that we have to share is not going to be pleasant, but we can't change the past and what we have done there, only strive to live better today and for the future.

Thanks for letting me share. As I posted in this string earlier I fully agree with the no relapse policy of this board. It has been a factor to keep me from relapsing more than once and probably will serve as a partial deterrent in the future as well!

yqb, David - Free and Healing for Three Months, Two Days and 28 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 5 Days and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1674 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $126.06.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Feb 2004, 01:28 #53

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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Feb 2004, 09:34 #54

I just pulled a thread and membership of a person who was a member two years ago and had relapsed and now was returning to Freedom. No one should ever be confused about this policy. Along with quitting cold turkey it is a cornerstone of our operation. A relapse is going to cost you your posting privileges permanently. More serious than this though a relapse has the potential of costing you your life. To keep your membership, your quit, your health and possibly your life it is imperative that you understand that you must stick with the commitment that you have made to yourself to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

09 Feb 2004, 13:22 #55

I offer just a bit of clarification on Joel's post #67, about pulling the membership and thread of a relapsed old member today.

Like Joel states, it was a person who had joined Freedom two years ago, and has not posted on our board until today and when he did, it was to tell us that he relapsed way back then and that he had just recently begun a new quit.

Linda
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Feb 2004, 21:57 #56

I just deleted a post and ended the membership of a person who had joined at the beginning of January and yet was still smoking when going out for drinks. The person said that he or she had not posted because he or she was smoking but now that he or she was finally off for over 72 hours he or she thought she could join right in.

We are very happy that the person has finally quit smoking and we hope that the person continues to read here and at WhyQuit.com and continues to find us a valuable resource. Unfortunately the person did not understand the relapse policy we have in place here at Freedom. We want this message to be clear and understood by all.

If a person takes a puff on a cigarette, or administers nicotine via any NRT source at any time after joining, that person did two things. First, the person threw away that particular quit. This is something that he or she may be able to get back. The person may quit again immediately, or it may take days, months or maybe even years. What also may happen though is that the person may never get the strength, desire or opportunity to quit again. Smoking may go on to take the person's health and ultimately the person's life. This is not a rare and unlikely outcome. It happens to millions of people every year.

The second thing that is done when a person takes a puff or administers nicotine and lets us know about it is that they permanently lose posting privileges. While we can't predict if a person who relapses will ever quit again, we can predict that the person will not be able to post again. This is totally non-negotiable and non-debatable.

Again, as stated above, the primary benefactor of this policy is each and every member himself or herself. We have made it very easy for each and every member to have a clearly defined spelled out battle line. No longer does a person have the luxury of thinking, "Well if I relapse, I'll go to Freedom and quit again." We have in effect destroyed what to some people can be a very persuasive argument supporting a kind of junkie thinking.

For the majority of people here this policy poses no threat and makes the each and every members mission here that much more clearly defined. It was what their intent was the day they first signed up to Freedom. To stay a member of Freedom, and more important, to keep the health and life saving benefits of staying a successful ex-smoker is as simple now as just remembering to stay totally committed to never take another puff!
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

11 Feb 2004, 01:50 #57

Today I deleted both the membership and thread of a person who joined Freedom the end of January, 03, posted then, relapsed, and then posted a new quit that began 3 days ago. Unfortunately, it was not detected until it had reached 18 posts.

Once you relapse and post on the board, your posting priveledges are pulled.

Another membership was deleted yesterday. It was a new member who quit last thursday, and then wrote in her post that she snuck a cigarette on Friday and was still using her original quit date.

from Joel:

If a person takes a puff on a cigarette, or administers nicotine via any NRT source at any time after joining, that person did two things. First, the person threw away that particular quit. This is something that he or she may be able to get back. The person may quit again immediately, or it may take days, months or maybe even years. What also may happen though is that the person may never get the strength, desire or opportunity to quit again. Smoking may go on to take the person's health and ultimately the person's life. This is not a rare and unlikely outcome. It happens to millions of people every year.
The second thing that is done when a person takes a puff or administers nicotine and lets us know about it is that they permanently lose posting privileges. While we can't predict if a person who relapses will ever quit again, we can predict that the person will not be able to post again. This is totally non-negotiable and non-debatable.



Linda
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:39

11 Feb 2004, 02:21 #58

I am very new but have found this relapse policy to be highly motivating. Along with constant education - I feel that I am getting stronger with each passing hour. I am firmly convinced that this method is working very well for me specifically because I am now 'forgetting' to think about smoking! This is day 8 for me and I find this experience quite refreshing -
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:10

11 Feb 2004, 03:22 #59

The knowledge that taking even 1 puff would cost me my membership in this group is a strong motivator for me. While I understand that the 1 puff might well cost me my life eventually, right now the idea of not being able to post here and be a member is such a terrible thought that it does help me strengthen my resolve whenever I'm tempted. At age 44 and after over 30 years of smoking, I don't know that I have another quit in me. Thanks for giving Gayna 1 month, 9 days of FREEDOM- and for holding me responsible for continuing my quit!!:)
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Feb 2004, 03:39 #60

Your Recovery is Not Dependent Upon Posting

We encourage every member to be careful about thinking that your recovery is somehow dependent upon anything but "you" continuing to remain nicotine free. No one's recovery is contingent upon having electricity in their house, a working computer, access to the internet, or posting privileges here at Freedom or anywhere else for that matter, as is clearly evidenced by the one billion comfortable ex-smokers out there who quit without participation in any formal program. What each of their recoveries were contingent upon was getting to that day when they stopped putting all nicotine into their body. Yes, Freedom is a wonderful recovery tool but please don't allow it to become a crutch. If your computer crashes today you'll be just fine so long as nicotine doesn't find its way into your brain.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

25 Mar 2004, 03:32 #61

There was a post from one of our members today who was relating a story from a past gold member who had lost his or her quit. I thought the commentary I am going to attach below kind of addresses this practice too.

Basically if a member relapses and another member finds out we are going to ask that the current member leaves this second hand story off the board. When a person relapses he or she has lost his or her posting privileges and has basically lost his or her voice at Freedom. No one should be giving the relapsed smoker a new voice here.

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: Joel Sent: 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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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:33

25 Mar 2004, 04:02 #62

to be honest i am grateful this site has this rule, i need that rule at the worst of times to help me kop on and keep going strong.......for my own good. i think i would have relapsed if i saw people giving in all over the board, there apologies wouldnt help me to stay positive....and thats hard enough these days. keep it known joel,thanks.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Mar 2004, 10:34 #63

This policy offers up two big advantages. The first is to the group as a whole. Every person coming here is now guaranteed that the board is always going to be focused on people who are successfully off smoking. There will be no need to spend time consoling relapses or trying to help a person rationalize a relapse. Again we had the advantages of that principle already covered in our There is no legitimate reason to relapse thread.

But the primary benefactor of this policy is each and every member himself or herself. We have made it very easy for each and every member to have a clearly defined spelled out battle line. No longer does a person have the luxury of thinking, "Well if I relapse, I'll go to Freedom and quit again." We have in effect destroyed what to some people can be a very persuasive argument supporting a kind of junkie thinking.

Again, for the majority of people here this policy poses no threat and makes the each and every members mission here that much more clearly defined. It was what their intent was the day they first signed up to Freedom. To stay a member of Freedom, and more important, to keep the health and life saving benefits of staying a successful ex-smoker is as simple now as just remembering to stay totally committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Apr 2004, 18:52 #64

There was a post put up today saying that one of our managers deleted a relapse post. As far as I can see no manager deleted a relapse post. I pulled this string up yesterday evening only as a preventative measure. The following two comments covers the issue of how and why we deal with members who relapse on the board.

For the record, if a member relapses and has his or her post pulled, I will usually pop up this thread and say that a personlost his or her membership but not give any further details. Its simple to avoid ever facing this risk yourself as long as you stick to the commitment you made to us when joining here and more importantly to yourself when you decided to never take another puff!

Joel


From: Joel Sent: 3/24/2004 1:32 PM
There was a post from one of our members today who was relating a story from a past gold member who had lost his or her quit. I thought the commentary I am going to attach below kind of addresses this practice too.

Basically if a member relapses and another member finds out we are going to ask that the current member leaves this second hand story off the board. When a person relapses he or she has lost his or her posting privileges and has basically lost his or her voice at Freedom. No one should be giving the relapsed smoker a new voice here.

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: Joel Sent: 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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Apr 2004, 20:50 #65

The mystery was cleared up. There was a post where a member had said that he or she had relapsed. Unfortunately none of the managers actually saw the post but a few members did. If any member ever sees such a post please send an email to [url=mailto:managers@whyquit.com]managers@whyquit.com[/url] and we will remove the post immediately. So that no one needs to waste time going through hundreds of strings looking for the deleted post, just for the record I deleted the entire string that it was in. But if any member does have time to go through hundreds of strings, go read the hundreds of valuable strings here at Freedom, the library of articles at www.whyquit.com/joel, and the general www.whyquit.com boad. The more you read at all of the places the more dedicated you will stay to your personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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