Many people abuse pills, are addicted to them, or once struggled with pill abuse or addiction. So it’s not surprising that there are many members of Pills Anonymous.
What Is Pills Anonymous?
Pills Anonymous (PA) is an organization that aims to help its members stop using pills. It’s similar to other recovery and sobriety organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Like AA and NA, Pills Anonymous:
-Encourages members to progress through a series of twelve steps to find addiction recovery. This process is called “working the steps.”
-Follows twelve traditions to guide the organization as a whole.
-Values its members’ anonymity.
-Provides literature about the program, addiction, and other matters related to addiction.
-Is free to join, but accepts donations during meetings and sells literature to raise funds.
Pills Anonymous also shares similarities with recovery and sobriety groups such as Marijuana Anonymous. Both groups:
-Feature a series of questions that people can ask themselves to determine if they have an addiction.
-Operate under the World Service Conference to provide management and ways for members to access its service.
Like other 12-step groups, Pills Anonymous (PA) welcomes people to join. According to PA, “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using pills.”
What Is a Pills Anonymous Group?
A group is the basic operating unit of Pills Anonymous. Anyone who wishes to become and remain sober can hold a PA meeting. PA will recognize the meeting as a local group if the meeting:
-Includes people who want to stop using pills.
-Supports itself financially.
-Aims to help people stop using pills by using PA’s twelve steps.
-Does not express opinions about non-PA outside issues or outside affiliations.
-Strives to attract new members instead of promoting the group for its own sake.
There are different kinds of Pills Anonymous meetings and groups, including:
-H&I: Gatherings for residents or clients of hospitals or institutions who cannot attend regular PA meetings. These are introductory or beginners’ gatherings and are not required to be self-supporting.
-Speaker: Gatherings where one or more members of PA share personal experiences for longer amounts of time.
-Participation: Gatherings where PA members share personal experiences, one person at a time.
-Book study: Gatherings where people discuss and study PA literature and related resources.
-Step study: Gatherings where people discuss and study the twelve steps of PA.
Instead of using the term leader, PA says that trusted servants can help manage (not govern) individual groups.
Groups can appoint people to serve in positions, including but not limited to:
-Group service representative
-A world service conference delegate
What Kinds of Meetings Does Pills Anonymous Meetings Offer?
People who want to attend a Pills Anonymous (PA) meeting can do so in many areas in the United States and around the world.
The Pills Anonymous website lists several in-person meetings. One page also includes handy codes that include more specific information:
-C = Closed meeting (meetings that are closed to nonmembers)
-O = Open meetings for both members and nonmembers (everyone)
-H = Handicap-accessible meetings
-B = Babysitting services available at these meetings
-M = Men’s only meetings
-W = Women’s only meetings
-LGBT = Lesbian gay bisexual transgender population meetings
There are many types of PA meetings and many ways to attend them.
Virtual meetings may be available for people who desire to stop abusing prescription pills, but for whom it may not always be possible, easy, or desirable to attend in-person meetings.
For example, there may not be any regular in-person meetings in their geographical area. Or, due to the spread of the contagious COVID-19, buildings may be closed and residents ordered to shelter-at-home by their county or state governments.
Pills Anonymous lists some virtual meetings on its site with codes that include whether they are open, closed, etc.
Starting Your Own Meetings
People can also start Pills Anonymous meetings of their own. The PA website includes resources for starting meetings, including suggestions for meeting formats.
For example, a PA participation meeting may start with the meeting conductor:
-Welcoming new members and explaining the program
-Asking members to read from Pills Anonymous literature, such as its Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
-Passing a basket for voluntary contributions.
-Awarding chips or tokens to commemorate different periods of sobriety.
Participation meetings also allow people to share their experiences. Pills Anonymous doesn’t allow crosstalk during its sharing periods. Only one person can speak at a time, though others can ask the speaker questions.
The group may set limits for sharing periods, such as allowing people to speak for 3–5 minutes only.
People may be encouraged to share contact information if they have questions or other things to share.
Depending on the preferences of the group members, meetings might end with meditation, a prayer, or in some other way.
Like other 12-step meetings and sobriety groups, Pills Anonymous acknowledges that people have different wants and needs. While sobriety is the common destination, there are many paths to get there.
- pillsanonymous.org - Here Are the 20 Questions Designed to Help You Determine If You Are a Pill Addict
- pillsanonymous.org - Pills Anonymous World Service
- pillsanonymous.org - Definition of a Pills Anonymous “Group”
- pillsanonymous.org - Find a Meeting
- pillsanonymous.org - Find a Virtual Meeting
- pillsanonymous.org - Start a Meeting