10 Things I Learned About Addiction and Recovery from The Anonymous People

1. The recovery process is often shaped by private shame, and public intolerance and policy.

2. Since 1985, drug users have accounted for 80 percent of the increase in prison population.

3. The panic behind the crack epidemic in the ’80s cause those in recovery to recede back into the shadows, and stop being as open about their process.

4. AA works with 2 million people worldwide.

5. Each year, substance abuse costs the United States $350 billion.

6. Only 2 percent of those funds are funneled into treatment options.

7. The dramatization of addiction in the media and on broadcast news plays into the stigma. The second people achieve sobriety they seem to disappear from the media.

8. The medical definition is no longer substance abuse disorder, but rather substance use disorder.

9. Addiction is an illness without a cure, but not without a solution. That was an inspiring thing to hear in the context of our coverage in this class.

10. Two quotes were very beneficial in adding context to the importance of speaking out and advocating for recovery. “If you expose in the light your secrets, they will die,” and “You can’t have good policy without good advocacy.”

About the author

Brianna Spause

Brianna Spause is a senior studying journalism at Temple University, an Emmy award winner, Photo Editor of The Temple News, President of Aperture Photo Agency, Contributing Editor of JUMP Magazine, coffee lover, a distinctly bad dancer… the list goes on and on. Contact Brianna at tuf04572@temple.edu.

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By Brianna Spause