Let’s Talk About the Hope of Recovery
Part of the behind-the-scenes recovery advocacy work I do is to comb through daily news clippings for relevant information for the ManyFaces1Voice campaign. If you’re not aware, MF1V is the grassroots advocacy constituency of folks who’ve watched The Anonymous People and believe in the power of recovery.
What’s a relevant news clipping? Let me start with what is not relevant, unless you’re into the sensational:
1) Stories about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s drug- and alcohol-induced shenanigans, 2) Stories about how the war on drugs has failed–we get it, and 3) Videos and images of cooked spoons, syringes hanging out of arms and rooms littered with stacked liquor bottles and beer cans.
It’s hard to blame the media for the mostly shoddy way its reporters report the news. Actually, it’s not hard for me at all since I used to be one of them. I’ve always had a strong disdain for those who capitalize on the lurid details of addiction and then go home to their pretty house on a manicured lawn surrounded by the perfect picket fence to have a few cocktails.
But I digress. The media, though not without culpability when it comes to reporting standards, are simply filling an economic need. Yes, addiction reporting is a supply and demand business. And unfortunately, the public’s demand is a greedy glut of ugliness.
So what are the good stories, the one’s focused on the hope and promise of recovery, the ones that reporters who get it are writing? Here are a few of my favorite stories posted on the ManyFaces1Voice Facebook page (and ones that have received high visibility):
From Substance.com: “These Three Companies Make a Point of Hiring Recovering Addicts”
From the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange: “Op-Ed: It Doesn’t Matter Whether You Believe Addiction is a Disease or a Choice”
From William L. White’s papers: “Waiting for Breaking Good: The Media and Addiction Recovery”
From Pacific Standard: “A Growing Number of Americans: Drug Abuse is a Health Issue and Not a Crime”
Now, if you like short, inspirational videos, The Anonymous People’s Greg Williams has pulled together a library of masterful vids. You’ll probably recognize a few of the faces. Check them out here. Spoiler alert: There’s a new one going live in the next week or so that is really good!
I believe we’re making progress in shifting society’s conversation around addiction recovery. The way I see it, the more those of us who can comfortably speak about how recovery is uber-cool, the more normal recovery will become to public eyes and ears.
Recovery is filled with hope and so am I.
If you have a recovery story you’d like to share, please leave a comment here or head over to ManyFaces1Voice’s Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of cbcs