- What is Pills Anonymous and when did it begin?
- How does Pills Anonymous work?
- Why does Pills Anonymous work?
- Common Questions about Pills Anonymous
- 12 Steps of Pills Anonymous
What is Pills Anonymous and when did it begin?
Pills Anonymous is a 12-step programA 12 step program includes 12 steps of recovery to help those struggling with substance addictions or behavioral addictions. The 12 steps are also used in programs dedicated to helping loved ones of addicts. 12 step programs include 12 step meetings where members go to share their experience strengt... More that was created for individuals who suffer from prescription drug addiction, specifically for people who want to recover from pill addiction. The group has no affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous but utilizes the same 12-step recovery process and for a long time, utilized the “Big Book” as well. Because the 12 steps have been so successful for so many other self-help groups, Pills Anonymous focuses on members admitting their powerlessness over their pill addiction and then finding ways to cope with the other problems that stem from their addiction, such as low self esteem, anxiety and depression.
A lot about the history of Pills Anonymous is unknown. The most known information about the organization goes back to one of the longest running groups, which was created in 1972. Dr. Paul O., one of the original members of the group, did talk about forming the organization in the 1970s, and he was a longtime memberAn individual who attends 12-step program meetings and has the desire to overcome addiction. More of Alcoholics AnonymousThe original 12-step fellowship, formed in 1935, to help alcoholics, regain control over their lives. It remains the largest 12-step organization and has contributed to the sobriety of millions worldwide. Read more about Alcoholics Anonymous More. In 2008, Pills Anonymous was officially incorporated as a charitable, nonprofit organization, after holding two conferences that year. Once delegates accepted the 12 steps and 12 traditions of the program, it was agreed that it would run similar to other 12-step organizations. In 2013, the first piece of literature was published for Pills Anonymous titled “There is a Solution: The Twelve StepsThe term "12 steps" refers to the core principles of the approach to addiction exemplified by Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar groups. The 12 steps are a set of guidelines designed to help individuals overcome addiction and rebuild their lives. They were created by the founders of Alcoholics A... More and Twelve Traditions of Pills Anonymous.”
How does Pills Anonymous work?
It can be difficult for individuals to identify whether or not they have a problem when it comes to prescription drugs, mainly because since they come from a doctor, it feels like it shouldn’t necessarily be considered addiction. The fact of the matter is, pill addiction can be just as severe and dangerous as an alcoholAn organic compound used in many products, most notably intoxicating drinks. Alcohol addiction is known as alcoholism. The first 12-step program was devised to deal with that malady. More or illicit drugA name for a wide variety of chemical substances capable of altering the function of your mind and body in significant ways. These can include over the counter prescriptions, alcohol, and controlled substances. Most drugs are either physically and/or psychologically habit-forming. More addiction. Pills Anonymous gives individuals the opportunity to find a support group that will help them recover from this addiction, which will only progressively get worse until the recoveryThe process by which addicts attempt to break the hold a certain substance or behavior has on their lives. This can refer to participation in a wide variety of methods. What they all have in common, is a sense that life is improving and the addict is regaining control. More process begins. While members are encouraged to remain open and honest about their problems, feelings and emotions, existing members can help newcomers find solutions to their problems by sharing12-step meetings are structured so that member sharing takes up most of the allotted time. It is the bread and butter of the fellowship between members. When sharing, addicts are encouraged to stay on topic and avoid interrupting by engaging in crosstalk. More their own experience, strength and hope.
Although attending meetings regularly and reading the available literature is beneficial for members, one of the most crucial parts of the programThis refers to any official course of treatment for addiction. This could be anything from in-patient facilities, to 12-step programs to harm-reduction programs. More is obtaining a sponsorAn individual in a 12-step program requires a sponsor to help them work the steps and hold them accountable for their recovery. The sponsor should be readily available when help is needed. A member with a sponsor is considered to be the sponsee. More. A sponsor is a longtime member with cleanPhysical sobriety from a specific substance on which the individual is dependent. This can refer to either when the substance leaves the system or the amount of time since it was last taken. More time under their belt, that is actively working the steps of the program or has done so in the past. They are there to help guide their sponsee through working the 12 steps and can understand what kinds of issues are being dealt with, since they, too, have been in their shoes before.
While a sponsor may have availability all day long to help individuals when they need it the most, whether it’s finding meetings, answering the phone or simply answering questions, it’s important to remember that a sponsor is not a doctor or therapist. They are simply individuals who share similar pasts with other members and try to help them through their own recovery process by offering their suggestions, experiences and tools of recovery. Members who obtain a sponsor can have someone to personally confide in, as well as utilize their knowledge and help them understand what the program of Pills Anonymous fully entails. Having someone who has been where they’ve been and will be completely honest will help them work the steps successfully and begin their own recovery from pill addiction.
Why does Pills Anonymous work?
Before joining the fellowshipThis refers to the members of AA and the bonds of support between them. It is this fellowship that allows addicts to share their stories and accept each other in a world that is not always understanding. More of Pills Anonymous, many members feel isolated and alone when it comes to their prescription drug addiction. Many individuals have tried to quit on their own and failed, leaving them suffering in feelings of desperation, depression and emptiness. In the roomsA common 12-step moniker for the place where meetings are held. It can also refer to the atmosphere and fellowship in meetings. More of Pills Anonymous, members are never alone. Attending meetings and building a network with other individuals in recovery can help individuals end their obsession with pills and start living their fullest lives.
Those who suffer from pill addiction have felt hopeless, sometimes at the end of their rope, trying to manage their pill addiction on their own. Pills Anonymous emphasizes the fact that pill addiction cannot be cured; it is an illness that needs to be arrested, and cannot be overcome on willpower alone. Once an individual has made the decision to begin attending meetings and working the steps of the program, they will begin to realize that quitting pills is only part of the recovery process. Finding ways to cope with problems, stress and other behavioral issues that stem from pill addiction is another way to begin living a happier and healthier life.
Once members put an honest effort into working their program, they will begin to feel more peace and serenityOne of the goals of recovery in 12-steps and many other formats is the attainment of serenity. It is dissatisfaction and disquiet which often drives addictive and destructive behavior and attaining a level of serenity nips cravings in the bud. In 12-step fellowships, this is often cultivated through... More in their lives. Surrounding themselves with others who have been there before, experienced similar problems and have recovered successfully will fill them with a new sense of hope that they can recover as well. With the help of meetings, a sponsor, a higher power12-step programs greatly stress surrender to and daily communication with a Higher Power. Having trust in something greater than yourself is considered essential for returning sanity in the unmanageable life of an addict. This can be a traditional deity, a spiritual entity or a social one such as th... More and working the steps of a program, members will be able to find solutions to problems that they could not solve on their own.
Common Questions about Pills Anonymous
Does Pills Anonymous cost money?
Pills Anonymous has no dues, fees or costs for membership. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using pills. The organization is self-supporting through their own contributions, so outside contributions are always declined. For members who are willing and able to give what they can, when they can, baskets are available during meetings for contributions. Other contributions can be made to the group by purchasing available literature, but there is never a requirement for members to give money of any kind. -pillsanonymous.org
Is Pills Anonymous religious?
Although God is mentioned in the steps, in meetings and throughout the program, the fellowship of Pills Anonymous is not religious in any form. The program is a spiritual one, not a religious one. Members are encouraged to find their own concept of a higher power; something or someone that can help restore them to sanity. While some members call their higher power God, some don’t define one at all. It is simply another way to understand that members alone cannot manage their addiction.
How do I find a Pills Anonymous meeting?
There are meetings throughout the world and the United States, so members are able to find something local to them by looking at the meeting directory page, located here. Because many face-to-face meetings are unavailable, it is important to call ahead. If there is not a physical meeting nearby, there are many virtual meetings available, which can be located here.
How do I know if I am a pill addictAn individual with an unhealthy dependence on a substance or behavior. An individual remains an addict even years into recovery and must therefore remain active in recovery. Read more about drug & alcohol addiction & withdrawal at Withdrawal Info. More?
While Pills Anonymous meetings and existing members can help individuals identify some of their problems with pills, it is not their job to decide whether or not they are suffering from pill addiction. Before attending meetings, future members are encouraged to answer questions from the questionnaire and decide on their own if they have a problem with prescription drugs. The group suggests that a “yes” answer to 3 or more questions may mean that Pills Anonymous is the right place for you.
Has your doctor, spouse or anyone else expressed concern about your use of medications?
Have you ever decided to stop taking pills only to find yourself taking them again contrary to your earlier decision?
Have you ever felt remorse or concern about taking pills?
Has your efficiency or ambition decreased since taking pills?
Have you established a supply for a purse or pocket or to hide away in case of emergency?
Have you ever been treated by a physician or hospital for excessive use of pills (whether or not in combination with other substances)?
Have you changed doctors or pharmacies for the purpose of maintaining your supply?
Have you received the same medication from two or more physicians or pharmacists at approximately the same time?
Have you ever been turned down for a refill?
Have you ever taken other people’s pills with or without their permission or obtained them illegally?
Have you taken the same pain or sleep medication for a prolonged period of time only to find you still have the same symptoms?
Have you ever informed your physician as to which pill works best at which dosage and had them adjust the prescription to your recommendations?
Have you increased the dosage, strength or frequency of your pills over the past months or years?
Are your pills quite important to you; e.g. do you worry about refills long before running out?
Do you become annoyed or uncomfortable when others talk about your use of pills?
Have you or anyone else noticed a change of personality when you take your pills, or when you stop taking them?
Have you ever taken your medication before you had the associated symptom?
Have you ever been embarrassed by your behavior when under the influence of your pills?
Do you ever sneak or hide your pills?
Do you find it impossible to stop or to go for a prolonged period without your pills?-pillsanonymous.org
12 Steps of Pills Anonymous
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction to pills and all other mind-altering substances —that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
4. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
5. Made a searching and fearless moral inventoryStep 4 recommends the addict conduct “a searching and fearless moral inventory.” This involves coming to terms with the flaws which preceded addiction and those that came as a result of it. More of ourselves.
6. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
7. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
8. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
9. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
10. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
11. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
12. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contactBuilding a relationship with a Higher Power is a crucial element in recovery. This involves conscious contact with a Higher Power through prayer and meditation regularly. More with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.-pillsanonymous.org
12 TraditionsThe term "12 traditions" refers to a set of principles that guide the functioning and decision-making of 12-step recovery organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The traditions were first published in 1946 and are intended to allow the organizations to run smoothly while protecting the anon... More of Pills Anonymous (PA)
1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon P.A. unity.
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using pills.
4. Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or P.A. as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the addict who still suffers.
6. A P.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the P.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every P.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. Pills Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our serviceAA and other 12-step fellowships do not normally have employees. Instead, members volunteer and take roles necessary for the operation of the different groups and the larger infrastructure of the fellowship. Common roles of service include secretary, treasurer, and chairing meetings. More centers may employ special workers.
9. P.A., as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. Pills Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the P.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymityAlcoholics Anonymous and all the 12 step groups modeled after it, protect the anonymity of its members. Members are forbidden from disclosing the identity of other addicts to outside sources or identifying themselves with the group on any form of public media. The idea behind this is to focus on the... More at the level of press, radio, television and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.-pillsanonymous.org
Read more about 12-step programs for substance abuse.