Both guest speakers, Scott McLane and Richard, provided us with authentic and engaging stories regarding their personal experiences with drug addiction and recovery. Scott, who chose to speak first, despite having a broken home had been an academic overachiever all his life, especially throughout high school. His life took an unexpected turn once he was in college and his alcohol addiction started to become a more serious issue. He recalls being homeless and in and out of recovery for several years. It wasn’t until much later on in his life that he was able to return to college and fully apply himself to his studies. Like countless other individuals in long-term recovery, both he and Richard have been able to sustain their recovery through spreading awareness about recovery and helping others who also struggle with addiction. Though both guests seemed skeptical of the worth of rehab and recovery clinics given how expensive treatment is, both have found recovery through using these services.

While continuing to speak on their journey in long-term recovery both guests remarked that it was important not to chase people into finding treatment if they don’t take it upon themselves to do so. This brought up an entirely different dynamic of recovery that hadn’t occurred to me before. If the Anonymous People had remained my only reference to what addiction recovery was like, I would have never thought about the struggles people go through to sustain their own recovery. It also became clear that part of the difficulty of helping people remain sober is that you truly can’t force people to follow a path they choose not to follow. If an addict of any kind chooses not to get help, then all you can do is show them where they need to go when they decide to get it.

*This post was edited in January 2019 to remove the last name of one of the guest speakers at his request.