We are people in recovery from substance use disorder, and we are ready for change. The stigma of addiction kills people. We have the power to stop the deaths by raising our voices. We live our recovery openly, share our stories, and work for policy change that helps our community. We are everyday people, doing extraordinary things---because of recovery, not in spite of recovery. We are transforming the narrative around addiction.
Although substance use disorder is recognized as a chronic health condition that affects 24 million Americans, we still face discrimination in every aspect of life. Our status as people in recovery affects our employment prospects and how we’re treated by the criminal justice system. Our status determines whether we get medical care, or custody of our children. It is a high price to pay for being sick. Yet, the barriers to treatment are so high that 90% of people with substance use disorder will never seek help for their illness, of any kind. We are working to level the playing field and give people in recovery a fair chance at life.
Hopelessness, isolation, and lack of support all contribute to epidemic-level deaths. Yet, many people look the other way. Until we address the stigma and ignorance that surrounds addiction, people will continue to die. One person dies of drug related causes in America every four minutes. That’s why we are working to implement sweeping changes. We can’t hesitate and we can’t think small. Every day, close to 200 people lose their lives to this disease. That’s somebody’s kid, somebody’s parent, somebody’s friend. We are speaking out for them, and for the families they leave behind. Our voices are for them. Our voices are for you.