Meeting Facilitator Notes

Meeting Length

The meeting is currently expected to take 1¼ hours. (See the “Timing” document for time estimates.) Meeting facilitators are encouraged to make adjustments to the format as needed.


Quotes That Could Be Added

Note on wording

  1. Chose positive words. Kindness, love, happy, healthy.
  2. Avoid negative words. Mean, hate, cruel, angry.
  3. Notice how just reading those words changes your feelings. When you read or hear a word it activates that corresponding thought in your mind, strengthening that thought. We want to strengthen positive thoughts, and avoid negative thoughts.
  4. To refer to a negative concept, use the word “not” to negate a positive concept. For example, instead of “mean” say “not nice”; instead of “cruel” say “not kind”. This way even though we are talking about a negative concept, we are still using positive words activating positive thoughts in the mind. Instead of saying, “I am not a crook”, say “I am an honest person”.1

As Cognitive Scientist George Lakoff says in all of his books, “You can't negate a frame.”

Symptoms of Addiction

  1. When the behavior continues despite continued negative life consequences to the addict and others.
  2. When the addict's behavior seems necessary in order to “feel normal” and to be able to face the typical stresses of life.
  3. When the addict repeatedly breaks promises to himself or others about quitting.
  4. When the addict regrets having engaged in the behavior.


The Seasons of our Joy addiction recovery meeting format was originally designed to be used in a Drug Court program.2 If the meeting is to be used in the community the group can be made self-sufficient by passing a basket around during the Closing section and adding a paragraph to the closing explaining the need for funds. Nar-Anon says the following at the closing of their groups:

“At this time we observe our Seventh Tradition: “Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions”. We have no dues or fees — but we do have the purchase of literature, rent, and we make regular donations to our World Service Headquarters. Newcomers need not contribute. While the basket is being passed, we'll have the secretary's report and announcements.”

One version of Alcoholics Anonymous:

“Our Seventh Tradition states that we are self-supporting through our own contributions. Our “passing of the basket” is to collect money to cover rent, literature and other meeting expenses. Our meeting also supports AA as a whole, our General Service Office (GSO) and our local Central Office. Our Central Office wishes to let you know that the historic $1.00 contribution is no longer enough to cover the expenses incurred for the services they provide, therefore, they are asking all members, who can do so, to increase their contribution to $2.00.”

For self run groups it's traditional to rotate the leader (often randomly). This helps prevent anyone from dominating the group. The message about preventing someone from dominating the group can be added to the “Keeping Our Meetings Healthy.”


There are various medications available which can assist in recovery. For heroin addiction there's naltrexone, which is now generic and fairly inexpensive. (There's also a sublingual version which is currently very expensive but often covered by insurance, and also there's a once a month intravenous injection version which is very, very expensive, but it does last for a full month.) An older medication still used is methadone, though methadone can be addictive if abused, and it's easy to overdose, especially during the first few weeks of maintenance treatment; they are often the result of the dosage having been increased too quickly. (Doses of less than 50 mg have proven fatal to non-tolerant adults).

There are also medications available for alcoholics, including Naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol), Acamprosate (Campral), and Disulfiram (Antabuse).

Rev. August 2014

1 President Richard Nixon's favorite phrase was, “I am not a crook.” However, this phrase still contained the word “crook” which activated the concept of “crook” in people's minds every time they heard it. Nixon could have instead said, “I am an honest person,” as this contains the word “honest” which activates the concept of “honest” in people's minds.

2 Drug courts often make the mistake of having classes, which doesn't fix anything. Instead they need to introduce the client to Processing Groups because they work.

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