Given the large variety of information on the internet, it's difficult to sort through what applies to you and your specific treatment needs. The best way to start your search for free treatment resources and programs is by checking out the information below.
State-Funded ProgramsState-funded programs are a great option for someone who cannot financially afford to enroll in private programs. The California Health and Human Services Agency oversees publicly funded programs based on mental health services for people who live in California and are suffering from mental health and substance abuse disorders. The California Health and Human Services Agency provides a SUD Non-emergency Treatment Referral Line for those suffering from substance use disorders and needing help finding treatment. The phone number you can call to talk to someone is (800) 879-2772.
Local MeetingsLocal meetings can be a significant source of support for someone working to overcome an addiction. In California, there are tons of local meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous and many other 12-step programs. You can find resources to locate a comprehensive list of local meetings below.
Find Support LocallyThe California Health and Human Services Agency provides a plethora of mental health and substance abuse resources for people who are living in California and are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. By clicking on the link above you will be directed to the Substance Use Disorder County Access Line page. Once there, you can scroll down and find the county in which you live. Next to the county, you live in there will be a phone number that allows you to speak with a representative who will provide you with substance use disorder services and information. In some areas, there is also a crisis line you can call in the case of a crisis. However, if you are having a medical or psychiatric emergency you should dial 9-1-1 immediately. A website is also displayed next to your county to provide you with additional information. Additionally, if you click on the Services link at the top of the page you will be redirected to additional mental health and substance use disorder services.
Local AA MeetingsAlcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is a 12-step program for men and women who have a drinking problem, supporting each other to overcome their addiction. You can find a comprehensive list of local A.A. meetings through visiting A.A. Near You. If you scroll down the page, you can click on California. The California link will redirect you to a fresh page with a list of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in California and their contact information.
Local NA MeetingsNarcotics Anonymous (N.A.) is a 12-step program designed to help people who are addicted to narcotic drugs stop using drugs and find fresh ways of living. By visiting California NA you will be redirected to the local California N.A. page. This website provides information about different N.A. meetings all over the state of California. There are also virtual N.A. meetings. Click on the link provided and then click on “To Find a Meeting Click Here.” The link will redirect you to a list of virtual N.A. meetings, their time, date, and a link to access the meetings.
Faith-Based MeetingsFaith-based meetings in California help those who are struggling with their addiction find relief while supporting and strengthening their faith. “click here” where it says “Find a Celebrate Recovery group near you.” You will then be sent to a page where you can put in your location and find programs near you.
Other Options/Paid OptionsOne of the biggest factors that cause people not to receive treatment in California is the inability to afford or not knowing how to pay for treatment. Below lists a few ways to help you pay for your addiction treatment.
ScholarshipsSome facilities offer scholarships or even grants that will partially or fully cover the cost of your treatment. One thing you can do is contact the treatment program you wish to attend to see if they offer any scholarships or grants you can apply for. Below are two funding options to help you pay for your treatment: 10,000 Beds is a scholarship that is geared towards awarding 250 addiction treatment scholarships each year to individuals who need addiction treatment. You can apply for this scholarship by clicking on the link above. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides funding opportunities and grants to help people afford their substance abuse treatment. You can apply for one of these grants by following the prompts in the link above.
InsurancePrivate Insurance is one way to pay for addiction programs. Insurance companies are legally required to pay for insurance to help cover addiction treatment. Depending on the insurance you have, you may attend treatment at a very low cost to yourself. There are a couple of federally funded options to help you fund your addiction treatment. These include government health insurance and the Veterans Administration. Below is a list of government health insurance options and the Veterans Administration form of insurance known as Tricare. Medicare is a federally funded form of health insurance for people over 65 and or under 65 but with certain disabilities. Medicare is affordable health insurance that offers various plan options to best fit your needs. To check your eligibility and apply, click on the link provided above. The website will prompt you on how to get started with Medicare. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. It is a state and federally funded form of health insurance for people who are pregnant, disabled, or low income. Participants pay little to nothing for coverage. To check your eligibility and apply, click on the website provided above. Tricare is health insurance for military members and their families. Tricare covers substance use disorder treatments and is a great option for members of the military and their families to seek treatment for their addictions.
LoansNot all insurance policies will cover all the treatment services needed for a person to recover from their addiction. One option is to take out a loan to help pay for addiction recovery. A home equity loan is a loan that uses your home as collateral. These are considered low-risk and have favorable interest rates. Private loans are sometimes catered specifically to those seeking finance for addiction treatment. These private companies offer affordable rates that take into account a person's treatment needs and recovery timelines. Personal loans are another option. Personal loans are taken directly from a person’s bank account and are based on their credit history and other assets.
12-Step programs and non-religiousSecular Alcoholics Anonymous is like the 12 step A.A. program but without the Christian aspect to it. It is an agnostic version of the traditional A.A. program. You can click on the link above and enter your location to see a list of local Secular A.A. programs near you. One Secular Anonymous meeting in California is: Cocaine Anonymous is a 12-step program for individuals wishing to overcome their cocaine addiction. Follow the prompts on the website to find local C.A. meetings near you. Online Cocaine Anonymous meetings are another option for someone who cannot attend a physical meeting or likes the convenience of the meetings being online. If you click on the link provided, it will take you to the website where you can find a list of the online meetings. If you prefer to attend email meetings or even voice meetings, they have those available for you as well. Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is a 12-step program to help people manage their dual diagnosis. The goal is to help those who are experiencing dual illnesses. This program is for people who are chemically dependent and suffering from emotional or psychiatric illness. It helps them recover from both their substance abuse and emotional or psychiatric illness by focusing on relapse prevention and improving their quality of life. Smart Recovery is an alternative to 12-step programs. This program uses cognitive therapy to change behaviors that trigger substance abuse. Click on the link above to find a program in your area. Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. CoDA uses 12 Steps and 12 Traditions are their principles for guidelines to develop honest and healthy relationships. This meeting supports those who are suffering from addiction and codependency. To find a meeting in California, click on the link above, and follow the prompts.
Friends and familyAl-Anon is a group for family and friends of alcoholics to help them recover from the effects of living with a loved one who has a drinking problem. Click on the link provided and enter your location. The link will take you to a list of local Al-Anon meetings near you. Nar-anon is a meeting for friends and family of addicts and recovering addicts. If you click on the link provided, it will take you to their website where you can type in your location and it will populate local Nar-anon meetings. Families Anonymous is a 12 step fellowship program for the family and friends of individuals with drug or alcohol issues. To find a location near you, click on the link provided and follow the prompts.
Recovery Advice When Money Is ScarceEven if you are low on money, recovering from your drug addiction should be a priority. A lot of the 12-step programs that you can attend to aid in your recovery are volunteer lead and should be free. Many health insurance policies will cover some of your addiction treatment because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) lists addiction as one of the 10 essential health benefits that are required to be covered similarly to other medical and surgical needs. Also, friends and family can be a source to borrow money from if you are having difficulty getting a loan or insurance is not covering enough. It can be very difficult for your friend or family member to watch you struggle with your addiction. As a result, they might help you pay for addiction treatment.
Online Self-Help ForumsSmart Recovery Online (SROL) is an online community that offers daily online meetings, message boards, and a 24/7 live chat to help people overcome addiction. You can see a list of online meetings and register to attend them by clicking on the link above and following the prompts. Self Recovery is a private online addiction recovery program. This is a great option for those who have hectic schedules, family obligations, tight budgets, and fear judgment from others. This program enables the user to explore the causes of their addiction. You can enroll in their classes by clicking on the link above and following the prompts. Life Process Program is an online recovery service for drug and alcohol addiction. The program is an alternative to AA and other 12-step programs. It is self-paced and puts you in control of your recovery. This program is broken down into 8 online modules that contain video files, reading materials, and exercises relevant to that module. You can register for this program by clicking on the link above and following the prompts.
- A.A. Near You. Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Al-Anon Meetings. Al-Anon.
- Alcoholics Anonymous. Aa.org.
- California CA. California Cocaine Anonymous.
- California Narcotics Anonymous. California NA.
- Co-dependents Anonymous. CoDA.org
- Covered Services. Tricare.
- DRA Meetings in Northern California. Dual Recovery Anonymous.
- Families Anonymous. Families Anonymous.
- Find a Meeting- Nar-Anon. Nar-Anon.
- Funding opportunities. SAMHSA.
- Health benefits & coverage. HealthCare.gov.
- Medi-Cal. California Health and Human Services Agency.
- Local Meetings. Smart Recovery.
- Medicare. Medicare.gov.
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coverage. Healthcare.gov.
- Online Cocaine Anonymous. ca-online.org.
- Online Program for Addiction Recovery. Life Process Program.
- Secular Recovery. Meetings- Secular Anonymous.
- Self Recovery- Online. Self Recovery.
- Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act. Office of National Drug Control Policy.
- Substance Use Disorder County Access Line. California Health and Human Services Agency. Virtual N.A. Meetings. Narcotics Anonymous
- Secular A.A. Meetings. Secular Alcoholics Anonymous.
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