10 Things I Learned From The Anonymous People Documentary

  1. Of the $350 billion that is spent every year on addiction, 98% is spent on incarceration, rehab and other forms of treatment, while only 2 percent of those funds go towards preventing it.
  2. Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, said that helping other people stay sober helps him stay sober.
  3. The organization Faces & Voices of Recovery helped bring smaller advocacy groups together to discuss the language people in recovery use when talking about addiction, because they believe “how you share is just as important as what you share.”
  4. In 1976, a group of celebrities gathered in Washington D.C. for an event called Operation Understanding. Each of the celebrities at this event announced to the press that they were former alcoholics, in an attempt to end the stigma surrounding addiction.
  5. Some people believe that the tradition of anonymity for 12 step programs contributes to the stigma surrounding addiction, instead of protecting people from this stigma.
  6. Senator Herald Hughes founded the program SOAR in order to provide opportunities for people in long term recovery to come forward and advocate for those still struggling with addiction.
  7. The Bridge Way School is an addiction recovery high school in Philadelphia that offers therapeutic assistance and academic support specifically for students with a history of substance use.
  8. Advocacy groups successfully limited the stigma surrounding AIDS and HIV in the 1980s.
  9. Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn. has a residence hall for students in recovery, as well as professional counseling services and academic support.
  10. When someone tries to go to rehab for a drug or alcohol addiction, they may have to wait several weeks to be admitted — but when someone is caught for drinking or doing drugs, they are immediately arrested for it.

About the author

Meghan Costa

Meghan Costa studies journalism and psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She writes for the schools newspaper, The Temple News and works as an editorial intern at the office of the senior vice provost of strategic communications. After graduation, Meghan hopes to stay in Philadelphia and write for a magazine or newspaper. She would like to specialize in mental health reporting, but she is open to any and all opportunities that come her way. Meghan also has a strong passion for creative writing, and is always looking to collaborate with other creatives on projects of any kind. Some of her favorite writers include e.e Cummings, T.S. Elliot, and Kurt Vonnegut. Meghan is originally from West Chester, which is a suburb of the Philadelphia area. Contact Meghan at tuf87094@temple.edu.

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By Meghan Costa