Published: April 9
We have had many inquiries and questions about health concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Groups and members are concerned about health and safety issues and are looking for guidance on how to address this question. Providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of the Pills Anonymous World Service Office (PAWSO), however, we might suggest contacting your national, state/provincial and local health authorities for appropriate information (below). We encourage Pills Anonymous (P.A.) groups to discuss the situations you are facing and the options you have to provide safe environments for those who attend your meetings.
Groups may want to consider asking members to temporarily stop some of the common practices found at P.A. meetings such as hugging or shaking hands, or offering refreshments. Also, when it comes to passing out readings, key tags, etc… you may want to consider limiting those activities to just one person. You may also want to consider alternatives to “circling up” at the end of the meeting.
Some groups are discussing contingencies for the possibility that they will not be able to meet face to face for some period; ideas include hosting phone meetings or online meetings. These are just a few thoughts; we honor each P.A. group’s responsibility to discuss and determine what is best for their meeting.
You may want to contact your national or local public health agencies for specific guidance regarding meetings and gatherings. We are aware of the guidelines and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), https://www.cdc.gov/ and there are similar agencies in countries outside of the USA. The World Health Organization (WHO) may also be a resource https://www.who.int/.
If you are seeking information about specific local P.A. events or meetings, please contact the service committee responsible for hosting that event or meeting. It seems likely that some events and meetings have been or will be affected by mandated closures, but we do not maintain a list of those and we are not the best resource for current information for local events and meetings.
We are hopeful that P.A. members and groups can continue to provide support for one another as we move through this current situation, and we will update this information as necessary in the coming weeks. You have our best wishes.