Simple Program for Complicated People  

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Simple Program for Complicated People  

By: Alumni Relations Specialist


It’s been said that “smart addicts are the hardest ones to get clean”. The reason why it’s so difficult for “smart” addicts to grasp this program is because it’s a simple program! Smart addicts believe they’re so smart and unique that they can take shortcuts (I don’t need a sponsor, I only need to do this step and that step). They believe that they’re so unique that what works for everyone else couldn’t possibly work for them. Some might even believe that the 12-step program is too simple and elementary, and that they’ll find themselves bored with it too quickly! Some believe that they’re so smart that they’ll come up with their own brand new genius solution to drug addiction, and they’re gonna write the book! The problem is that they still rely on their own intellect, when it’s their own thinking that got them into this mess in the first place! Their intelligence literally gets in their own way but they can’t see that.  “You can’t spot self-deception by yourself”.

In reality, the problem here is quite simple. The problem is us, we have no coping skills… drugs and alcohol were our number one way of coping with life.  Drugs were not our ultimate problem, they were our solution! Our ultimate problem is ourselves.  Again, who kept returning back to the drugs over and over again, knowing that they’re destroying our lives? And what exactly did drugs do for us? They numbed us and made reality unclear. Drugs actually worked for a while but then we saw the ugly side of addiction. We knew the drugs were killing us and everything around us . Addiction eventually turns into “live by the sword, die by the sword”. Hopefully, we get to a point where we realize that we are dying and we don’t want to die. When we are beaten we become willing… willing to listen to someone else for a change. So, in conclusion, if our problem is quite simple to understand, why do we think that the solution has to be some clever, baffling, sophisticated brilliance?

The first line in the Narcotics Anonymous Basic text says “simplicity is the key”. It’s also been said that “this is a simple program for complicated people”.  One more I like is “you can’t be too dumb for this program but you can be too smart”.