10 Things I Learned About Addiction and Recovery From the Anonymous People

  1. 23 million Americans have found and sustained recovery.
  2. Addiction costs the country $350 billion every year, but only 2 percent of that goes toward prevention.
  3. You’ll commonly hear advocates of recovery use phrases like “Hi, my name is [BLANK] and I am a person in long-term recovery which means to me, [BLANK].”
  4. If the public treated addiction the way it treats breast cancer or AIDS, the fight for perceiving addiction as a public health crisis, not a moral failure, would be a lot easier.
  5. The principle of anonymity encouraged by AA caused controversy, but the organization has helped millions of people find and sustain recovery.
  6. One in three teenagers meet the criteria for addiction.
  7. Options, like sober high schools and recovery dorms on college campuses, are offered in some states.
  8. Just as the recovery movement began picking up steam, so did the drug war, which caused many addicts to be criminalized instead of being treated.
  9. Since 1985, about 80 percent of the federally incarcerated population is drug offenders.
  10. Nine out of 10 people who are addicted started using before they were 18 years old.

About the author

Grace Shallow

Grace Shallow is a sophomore journalism student at Temple University in Philadelphia. On paper, she is the deputy features editor for The Temple News, an intern for WHYY’s PlanPhilly and a contributor for the Spirit News with previous work at her hometown’s paper, Cinn City News. Contact Grace at tug14374@temple.edu.

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By Grace Shallow