Why is it so important to acknowledge and honor recovery? People in recovery, and children who have not yet begun to experiment with substances, may be the only hope for our nation to heal from the addiction epidemic that’s crushing us. We can heal with your help.
How can honoring recovery help with the addiction epidemic that’s crushing us? Perception leads to action. When there is a perception that recovery is a joyous and valuable part of the American experience, people will want to be part of it. They will want to share their stories, and advocate for cultural change to end the myths below.
Perceptions That Need Debunking
- Everyone drinks
- Addiction is a moral failing, a weakness
- People who don’t drink are boring
- Drinking is the only way to celebrate holidays, reunions, events
- Recovery from drinking and other addictions is not possible
- Recovery is for those who can’t handle what everyone else is doing
- Recovery is a punishment because it isolates people
- Recovery is the substance users’ responsibility no one else needs to know or make accommodations
- 23 million Americans are in some form of recovery
- Substance Use Disorders (addiction) is a chronic, progressive, relapsing brain disease that can happen to anyone and needs lifelong treatment and management
- Remission, recovery, restoration of relationships, return to work and school happen every day
- Not everybody drinks
- While 15% of teens use, the majority of teens do not drink and use
- We need to honor people who choose not to drink and kids who don’t use
- We need to do more to help kids delay experimentation
Honor Someone in Recovery
We honor our returning Veterans, our cancer survivors, our children who play sports and sometimes win, sometimes lose. We honor our flag, our country, our teachers, our nurses.
If 23 million Americans are in recovery, we need to honor and include, not isolate, them. Here’s how we honor recovery In our family. We don’t have alcohol or prescription meds hanging about the house. We celebrate with zero proof. Finding new drinks to try is part of our recovery tradition. We celebrate the anniversaries of our sober dates. Mine is August 25, 2008. In my case, I was not a hardcore drinker, but I did love martinis. Like people of my generation, I had a drink every day. My limit was one, maybe one and a half, because the impact of alcohol on women is twice what it is for men.
Here’s another myth that needs debunking. Women can drink the same way men do. False and proven dangerous. Women can't drink the same as men and need to stop trying to keep up. Our biology is different. One drink for a man is one drink. For women, one drink is like having two. The reality is women get drunk quicker and stay drunk longer and are at risk for assault.
Honor Someone In Recovery
I joined my loved ones in recovery because I wanted my dinner table to be inclusive for all of us. I didn’t want to be the role model who kept liquor around said, “I can drink but you can’t; recovery is your problem not mine.” I didn’t think of myself as a hero then. But now, ten years and many struggles later, when I look at our healthy family thriving in recovery, I know we are heroes. Support our work at Reach Out Recovery and honor someone you love in any form of recovery.