The Importance of “Anonymity”

Traditionally, P.A. members take great care to preserve their anonymity at the public level: press, radio, television and films. We know from experience that people with drug problems might hesitate to turn to P.A. for help if they thought their problems might be discussed publicly, even inadvertently, by others. Newcomers should be able to seek help with complete assurance that their identities will not be disclosed to anyone outside the Fellowship.

We believe that the concept of personal anonymity has a spiritual significance for us: it discourages the drives for personal recognition, power, prestige, or profit that have caused difficulties in some societies. Much of our relative effectiveness in working with addicts might be impaired if we sought or accepted public recognition.

While each member of P.A. is free to make his or her own interpretation of P.A. Tradition, no individual is ever recognized as a spokesperson for the Fellowship locally, nationally or internationally. Each member speaks only for themselves. Pills Anonymous is grateful to all media for their assistance in strengthening and observing the Tradition of anonymity. Periodically, the P.A. World Service Office may send to all major media a letter describing the Traditions and asking their support in observing it.

A P.A. member may, for various reasons, “break anonymity” deliberately at the public level. Since that is a matter of individual choice and conscience, the Fellowship as a whole has no control over such deviations from Tradition. It is clear, however, that they do not have the approval of the group conscience of P.A. members.