1. The idea of independent choices. I thought it was interesting how they discussed young teenagers who don’t yet have fully developed brains, making the decision to do drugs. I hadn’t really thought of that before how people who haven’t even reached the peak development of their brain are using drugs.
  2. Public perception. I know that the public perception is still relatively negative towards addiction. However, I hadn’t really realized how much it just hasn’t changed. It’s the same attitude now that we had years ago towards it.
  3. The media only covers the negative side of things. In the back of my mind, I think I knew this was true, but I didn’t realize how extreme it was. Why aren’t we covering stories of recovery? People always complain about how negative the news is so why aren’t we dong something to change that narrative? The only time I see drugs or alcohol mentioned in the news is a crime story or a “child star gone wrong” story.
  4. Despite the media, there are good people. This may seem obvious, but it’s really not. When the media so heavily controls what we view and how we view it, it’s hard to know if there are those “going against the grain” to speak out about any topic. To see people still advocating for those in recovery and those who want to get the help they need etc is really uplifting because it shows that there are still people who know what this actually looks like and how we should be talking about it.
  5. The rhetoric we use to describe addiction doesn’t match how we approach it. We hand people chips and send them on their way, yet we keep talking about how addiction is chronic. If it’s chronic, why isn’t is treated as such? You don’t send patients of other chronic diseases on their way without check-in.
  6. AA was only founded in 1935. I think I was surprised at this statistic because that means that we have only been trying to help people in this multi-faceted way for under 100 years. That was really shocking to me because I feel like this has always been something people struggle with.
  7. AA’s book was considered an influential book. This is important. If this was considered an influential book, then I would have thought we would have continued to emphasize this and try and help people, not continue to criminalize them in the media.
  8. The “anonymous” part of AA is controversial. Some people were saying in the movie that they didn’t understand the anonymous part because it wasn’t really too secretive when you thought about it.
  9. Anonymity is not secrecy. This is something I’ve heard talked about in passing, but it was interesting to hear it in context directly with the 12-step program. It’s a strange dynamic because people don’t always want to talk about getting help for an addiction, but at the same time, it’s not necessarily good to keep that secretive. It’s an interesting balance that I think we need to continue to study.
  10. Speaking in the present tense. Even though they are 10, 15 plus years without a drink, they still call themselves alcoholics. It’s interesting because it’s a fine line, again, when it comes to that stuff.