Alcoholics Anonymous is a program for alcoholics who seek freedom from alcohol. It is not a program against drugs. However, some A.A. members have misused drugs, often as a substitute for alcohol, in such a manner as to become a threat to the achievement and maintenance of sobriety.

These incidents have caused all A.A. members to be concerned with what is popularly known as the “pill problem.”

A report from a group of physicians in A.A.

Because this subject is one which goes deeply into the field of medicine, a group of physicians who are members of A.A. was asked to help prepare this pamphlet.

The experience of some A.A. members reveals that drug misuse can threaten the achievement and maintenance of sobriety.

Yet some A.A. members must take prescribed medication in order to treat certain serious medical problems.

Experience has shown that this problem can be minimized if the following suggestions are carefully heeded:

Remember that as a recovering alcoholic your automatic response will be to turn to chemical relief for uncomfortable feelings and to take more than the usual, prescribed amount. Look for non-chemical solutions for the aches and discomforts of everyday living.

Remember that the best safeguard against drug-related relapse is an active participation in the A.A. program of recovery.

No A.A. Member Plays Doctor.

Be completely honest with yourself and your physician regarding use of medication.

If in doubt, consult a physician with demonstrated experience in the treatment of alcoholism.

Be frank about your alcoholism with any physician or dentist you consult. Such confidence will be respected and is most helpful to the doctor.

Inform the physician at once if you experience side effects from prescribed drugs.

Consider consulting another doctor if a personal physician refuses or fails to recognize the peculiar susceptibility of alcoholics to sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants.

Give your doctor copies of this pamphlet. In this pamphlet you will read some suggestions outlined by physicians, as well as the shared experience of a few A.A. members.

From the official AA leaflet ‘The A.A. Member — Medications and Other Drugs’ at www.aa.org

Related Reading:

Alcoholic Victorious
Dirty Cop
The Drug Book: From Arsenic to Xanax, 250 Milestones in the History of Drugs (Sterling Milestones)