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

  1. Alcholics Anonymous was started in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio.
  2. There are 2 million members of AA worldwide and the book “Alcoholics Anonymous,” now in its fourth edition, has sold over 30 million copies.
  3. Marty Mann, an early member of Alcoholics Anonymous, became one of the first women to be outspoken about recovery. She wrote a chapter of the AA book called “Women Suffer Too.”
  4. In recent years, more politicians are speaking out about being in recovery and working to convince the government to treat addiction as an illness. Some of these politicians include Patrick Kennedy.
  5. Since the war on drugs started in the late 70s and into the 80s, people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs make up 80 percent of the prison population.
  6. The television media plays into the stigma of addiction by telling sensationalized stories of people’s addictions. But these people are no longer discussed once they are in recovery, like Britney Spears.
  7. Only 2 percent of the $350 billion dollar yearly funds for addiction go toward treatment and prevention.
  8. Critics think that anonymity in 12-step programs contributes to the stigma surrounding addiction, because it is treated as something to look down upon.
  9. Some celebrities, like Kristen Johnston, are trying to break that stigma. She is extremely outspoken and goes into detail about her addiction and recovery.
  10. People in recovery will often talk about the last time they used a drug and calls themselves a “person in long-term recovery,” rather than going into detail about what they did when they were dealing with addiction.

About the author

Emily Scott

Emily Scott is a junior journalism major and history minor at Temple University. She works as the Features Editor of The Temple News, editing and covering people, places and things around campus and the city. Contact Emily at tuf39703@temple.edu.

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By Emily Scott