Edit 7/21/23, credit to Jason for the idea: I am implementing one interim rule before the meeting, that personal information shared on the server or in meetings doesn’t leave the server without express permission, unless required by law.

Edit 9/30/23, Swapping the link, as server changes seem to have caused the old one to expire. Additionally we now have the rules on a landing page that new members need to agree to in order to join other channels. In addition to rules of conduct, we are for the time being limiting membership to people who are, have been, or suspect they may be addicts or have a related condition of some kind. We manually grandfathered in anyone who joined the server before the landing pad was created, even if they do not meet these criteria, but still ask that they like everyone follow the other rules, or risk being banned.

Since posting my article on alcoholism, I have, somewhat in the background, been trying to organize an EA recovery group with a few other interested people. This group would, ideally, be broadly defined and include alcoholism, which so far seems like the most common problem, but also other addictions, either to drugs, or more behavioral ones such as eating disorders. We have not had any meetings yet, but I have set up a Discord server which can be accessed here:


Based on a poll I set up, I am leaning towards 5:00 PM EST July 25th as our initial meeting time. This meeting is meant more to discuss logistics and administration than to be a conventional group therapy meeting of any kind, although it might drift in that direction at points as well. So far I have not set any explicit rules, and don’t want to before our first meeting, when I can get input from others. Given this, I am hoping no one does anything particularly ban-worthy before this time, as I will have to judge/get input on a case by case basis, and will prefer to start with warnings barring obviously intentional bad behavior. As a starting point, if you are EA or EA adjacent and have an addiction like one of those mentioned in the beginning, consider yourself invited. When the final rules are put in place I will likely more formally restrict it, and in the meantime I would prefer that you only come onto the server if you are, suspect you are, or have struggled with an addiction in the past. I will most likely also be welcoming to people with professional mental/community health experience, but before discussing the rules in a meeting, I would prefer that people who have a more impersonal interest in this project don’t join right away. I do not plan to enforce this before the rules are set however, so long as you behave well. I am only posting this link while the project is still so half-baked because I would prefer to have more people present at an initial meeting where important matters of this sort are decided, rather than a small handful of the people who will eventually want to join. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me through my DMs.





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Thanks for starting this!
This is one of the areas where EA's community aspect and professional aspect may have some conflicts. I think people joining should expect some possibility of stigma e.g. from future employers and colleagues. (Not because I have any specific knowledge of this happening in EA, but just seems like a thing that happens in the world.)
Making pseudonymous accounts might be a good idea.

Hm, good to know, do you think this will even be a problem on a Discord server though? Unless employers specifically join the server in order to rule candidates out the information won’t be super accessible - certainly not from just performing a search on the candidate’s name. I also think we should have rules, including Jason’s suggestion, that officially ban this behavior.

My experience in EA is that people who eventually become your funder or your boss were your peers / people you saw around the community a few years before.

Got it, it still doesn’t seem like that will be much of a problem on a dedicated Discord server like this, I don’t think a critical mass of founders will just randomly wander onto an addiction specific Discord server, but I can pass along the advice to be safe.

I'm glad you're doing this, and think it's a great idea. One small point: most eating disorders (a broad category) are not addictions, although some share features with addiction. Given this, I suspect that most people with eating disorders have had pretty different illness experiences than most people with addictions, and might benefit from different recovery group activities. (Obviously, people can decide for themselves whether the group is helpful.) Kudos again for starting this.

Interesting, thanks for the information! My own experience with someone very close to me with an eating disorder has looked very familiar to me since becoming an addict myself, so it always seemed like it made sense to categorize them together. I guess my final and most important reason for wanting to include it though is just that we have someone who joined the server with an eating disorder, and wanting to know if they could count. Given this I plan to stick by my judgement, even if it means that technically the group is more “addiction and some related mental health disorders” rather than just “addiction”.

You should consider setting forth one explicit interim norm: no disclosure or use of Discord/meeting information outside the Discord/meeting, except as required by law or to prevent a substantial risk of significant harm to self or others. (Of course, people should be aware that your ability to enforce that norm is limited at best.) The group could decide to change the norm -- but any changes should be prospective only to the extent the changes are less protective.

Good idea, I’ll edit the post.

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