The Anonymous People offers an optimistic advocacy narrative we can learn from

  1. I wasn’t aware of the presence of sober high schools and dormitories on college campuses. The presence of such institutions is emboldening, as continuity of community in a sober lifestyle proves pivotal to developing a safe and strong social structure for those in recovery.
  2. The advocacy work of Senator Harold Hughes was vital to shifting policy and perception at the legislative level. Hughes proudly touted his personal recovery and fought to increase awareness that alcoholism and addiction is a disease and not a moral failing.
  3. The lexicon of recovery is critical to developing positive connotations, as wording such as long-term recovery versus noting addiction or alcoholism in how we frame the disease is an important shift in framing the disease and those in recovery.
  4. The high percentage of prisoners facing addiction issues. I figured there is a strong corollary, but the fact 65 percent of U.S. inmates meet the medical definition of addiction.
  5. The lasting legacy of “Just Say No” proves nearly indelible on American culture. This informs me of the impact of messaging from the executive branch and in regards to how marketing can drive the national impression of addiction.
  6. The Surgeon General deems addiction as unequivocally a disease.
  7. The cost of addiction to the U.S. economy exceeds $400 billion when we consider lost productivity, incarceration, and treatment.
  8. One in 70 current high school students will eventually require in-patient rehabilitation for substance abuse.
  9. Having seen the film several times, I honestly never picked up on the fact Greg Williams directed the movie.
  10. Roughly half (48.6) of the prison population in the federal penal system were convicted of drug charges.

-Jim McCormick 

About the author

Jim McCormick

For the past decade, Jim McCormick has worked as an analyst covering the NFL and NBA for and ESPN The Magazine. From 2009 to 2010, he served as a regular panelist for The Washington Post’s online NFL platform, The League. In addition to written content for The League, Jim conceived and produced the interview podcast series, “Behind the Helmet.” From 2011-2012, Jim was the lead high school football editor for Jim also served as an editor and co-publisher of the nationally distributed BLITZ Magazine from 2006 to 2010 in what was a broad learning experience as a media entrepreneur. Contact Jim at

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By Jim McCormick