By Beth Brantner, LPCC and Peer Advocate
It would be a rare day indeed if there was no mention of a situation involving addiction in the media, movie, magazine or book. Most often the association is with tragedies, illegal behaviors, greed, selfishness, dishonesty and failure. It’s no wonder everyday people steer clear of the topic. We don’t want others to know there is addiction in our midst be it sibling, child, parent, grandparent, significant other or ourselves. We think judgment would occur and all of us would somehow be measured as being defective or faulty.
In the 2013 Documentary Anonymous People it shares 25 million people suffer from this disease and two thirds of all families are affected. Clearly this is an epidemic. But you know what is not in the news, the movies, the television shows or the magazines? All the people who are in recovery! Again if we use the stats from the documentary, 23 million people are in long term recovery. That’s a lot of people who are essentially unrecognized in our country. Personally I have a number of people in my life who have been in recovery for years. These are some of the most quality people I have had the honor to meet. They work, pay taxes and unbeknownst to most quietly do things that make the world a better place. These are the folks who understand what it is like to struggle, they tend to be generous to charities, focus on their family and friends and enjoy life. They are your neighbors, your co-workers and sit next to you in church.
At Lost and Found Ministry and reGROUP, we are working hard at letting people know, addiction is a no- fault disease, solutions are out there, recovery is very possible and something to be proud of, recognized and celebrated by our population. If we could reduce the stigma associated with chemical dependency I think it would encourage others to pursue recovery and provide support for all who are affected. Most importantly, it could open up the hearts and minds of so many who could then be part of the rebuilding of relationships which is vital to recovery. I encourage you to take the time to watch the documentary Anonymous People. You can find it on Netflix or go to You Tube where you can sign in to see it. Go ahead, take 88 minutes of your time and check it out; you won’t be sorry.