It was quite an honor to listen to Aaron’s experience on recovery and the view on addiction as a whole. He works with the non-profit Facing Addiction and the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence. He expressed his concerns with the stigma surrounding recovery and what we as journalists can do to change it into a more positive light. He made great points about there being negative association with words like “junkie”, “addict”, and “drunk”. I know plenty of people that use those phrases frequently when speaking about people struggling with addiction. It is not correct and should stop.
I also enjoyed Aaron speak about he is trying to get judges to change the term “drug court” to the term “recovery court”. It is small things like that which will shed more positive light on addiction and the recovery from it. When speaking about people with addiction issues there needs to be level of respect that comes with it. Something that really stuck with me was when Aaron said “if we want to change the stigma associated with addiction, we need to change the way we are reporting on it.” Overall Aaron’s experience has taught me a lot and I plan on using his suggestions in my professional field.