We are business owners, teachers, hi-tech managers, union presidents, parents, counselors, coaches, medical professionals, attorneys. . . People in Long Term Recovery are a quiet backbone that provides needed stability in our communities. We are proof that recovery works, and money invested in addiction treatment is money well-spent!
People in Long Term recovery often disappear from view in the media, and sometimes even from the rooms of recovery, as we become successful and stable. The policymakers, families, struggling addicts, the media, school boards, NIMBY community, and your neighbors don't see images of successful recovery in a time when the opioid crisis is killing thousands of addicts a day. Frequent images of broken addicts and families contribute to the internalized stigma the alcoholic and the community carry. While we need to intervene and treatment is vital, they need to see how the story continues, and that we pay taxes and vote!!!!! People In Long Term Recovery are what successful recovery looks like.
We are asking you for the greatest service you can offer to the families who need hope, to a correctional system that is threatening to return to mandatory sentencing, to political policy makers, to the newly recovering person who looks into the media and has very few role models. We need YOU to be willing to step forward and claim your recovering success.
Maybe you addressed your gambling addiction years ago and have moved on to a successful financial and personal life.
Maybe you picked up your last DUI and divorce years ago and are now happily married and professionally stable.
Maybe you haven’t been in a courtroom for years due to your addiction and sit in a boardroom instead.
Maybe you stopped relapsing by addressing your mental health issues years ago and your psych meds have given you back your life.
Maybe you found Al-anon years to stop crying all the time, and have gone on to have more joy in your life, and are surrounded by healthy relationships.
For this purposes of this advocacy project, we are defining successful long-term recovery as 5 years or more:
Stable co-occurring or addiction recovery over 5 years through a range of recovery traditions (AA, NA OA, Celebrate Recovery, Red Road Recovery, Dual Recovery Anonymous, etc.)
Stable participation in work, volunteer work, or school over this period of time
Stable and growing relationships with family and friends
According to AA World Services, about 40% of all AA members who have already been sober for less than a year will remain both sober and active in AA another year; 60 percent of this group will either lose sobriety or stop participating in AA during the next year, or both. About 80% of those participants who have been sober between one and five years will remain both sober and active in the fellowship another year. About 90% of the members who have been sober five years or more will remain both sober and active in the fellowship another year. (AA's survey could not determine the number of people who remain sober but discontinue participation in AA groups). These figures have been repeated within a few percentage points using the same calculations since 1974.
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We have provided a template for you to create a 2-3 minute video and we are asking you to send it in to be part of advocating for us, for your own people, by publicly proclaiming that recovery works - and we pay taxes!!!!! Send your video to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Advocacy for the Hope of Long Term Recovery
My name is _________________ and I am a person in long term recovery. To me, that means I have been _________ free for ____ years. Because I have been in long-term recovery, I have been able to (please include your profession) ___________________. What is keeping my recovery working in my life is ___________.