“Advocating for what you believe in is crucial – if you don’t ask for it, people assume you don’t need it!” – Anonymous,
Did you know that someone dies from alcohol or drugs in the US every 4 minutes? That is the equivalent of 350 people dying in a plane crash every day!
Advocacy Day 2015: #UNITEtoFaceAddiction
Advocacy Day: Addiction Recovery
Today, Monday, Oct. 5th, 2015, the day after UNITE to Face Addiction Rally, recovery advocates will be meeting with policymakers on Capitol Hill to talk about better solutions for alcohol and drug addiction issues. This is a big deal for our community, because it means that our voices are being heard. The more people who speak up and talk about addiction as a treatable brain disease and less like a moral failing, the more society and lawmakers will help make changes so that recovery can become more of a reality for all drug addicts and alcoholics that are still sick and suffering.
It Is Our Silence That Is Helping Kill Us
Many addicts/alcoholics keep quiet about their addiction because they are afraid of what others will think of them. This goes further than just feeling judged. Many wonder if their secret got out would that guy or girl walk away, would they not get or lose that job they’ve worked so hard for, anyone can add to the list. Other times it’s because they do not want to break anonymity of whatever fellowship or 12-step group they may belong to. These are all very valid reasons to keep your recovery a secret, but are these reasons preventing us from helping others?
The great news
Is that you are not alone and there are people out there talking about their recovery with the world. You also can keep your anonymity as part of your 12-step recovery private. Nobody needs to know how you do it unless they are asking you for help on a one-on-one basis.
We can still share our addiction and recovery with the world without giving out every tiny detail. Saying I am a person of long-term recovery vs. I am an alcoholic in AA or addict in NA is very different. I bring this point up because your voice is important and it will help others know that they are not alone, that addiction is a real disease, and that we recover.
Break The Stigma
It’s also extremely important that officials, doctors, law-makers, etc… hear our voices! Why? It is because they are the ones who are going to help us be treated fairly in a world who so desperately does not understand addicts and alcoholics and who keeps dismissing us. They are the ones who are going to help us carry our message to America that we aren’t bad people trying to get good, we are sick people trying to get well.
Just for today (Advocacy Day 2015), Advocate, speak up about your recovery to show others that we can and do recover and there is nothing to be ashamed about. #BreakTheStigma
Written By: Watershed Ashling