Addiction is a treatable illness
Addiction is a brutal disease. It’s hard on the addict, but it’s also hard on families and communities.
When one of us recovers from addiction, everyone benefits. We are restored to sanity and usefulness, our productivity improves and the lives of our family members, friends and neighbors are made better. We know that recovery like ours is possible for many of the 23 million Americans who still need help with alcoholism, cocaine dependence, heroin addiction and a variety of other dependencies. They need help, understanding and a society that views them not as bad people – but as people suffering from a disease. People with a disease who are worthy of high quality treatment of the adequate intensity and duration.
Freedom from addiction is a reality for millions of us. Recovery from addiction happens every day in our neighborhoods, our communities and our country. Clean and sober people are all around you – we are at your workplace, at church, in your day-to-day life. What we call the recovering community is a rich group of diverse individuals – drawn together by our common pursuit of a happy life and of another day without a drink or a drug.
But we also struggle against real prejudice – and with our own anonymity. We are often mistrusted and misunderstood, or we simply seem invisible to those around us. But tens of thousands of people recover from addiction every year – and we are everywhere.
Saving the lives of overdosing opioid addicts is of huge importance, but . . .