The Recovery Bill of Rights
is a statement of the principle that all Americans have a right to recover from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Learn more…
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many people in the U.S. are in recovery?
- How can I get in touch with addiction recovery advocates in my community?
- What are Faces & Voices of Recovery's goals?
- What is Faces & Voices of Recovery’s history?
- Does Faces & Voices of Recovery support any particular approach or pathway to addiction recovery?
- Are most people with alcohol and other drug problems unemployed?
- What are the best words to use to describe addiction and recovery?
- Who is the recovery community?
- What is addiction?
- Where can I go for help?
- What is the cost benefit for early treatment of alcohol and other drug addiction?
- How many people are incarcerated because of alcohol and drug problems?
- What does it cost our economy not to get people the help they need to recover?
- Do more Americans die from drug overdoses than in car accidents?
Over 20 million Americans are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Learn more...
Face & Voices of Recovery maintains a comprehensive, growing directory of recovery advocacy groups.
Faces & Voices Strategic Plan details how we are working to organize and mobilize the over 20 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, our families, friends and allies into recovery community organizations and networks, to promote the right and resources to recover through advocacy, education and demonstrating the power and proof of long-term recovery.
Faces & Voices of Recovery was founded in 2001 at a national summit of 200 recovery advocates. Most of these founders were already engaged in recovery advocacy in their own communities. The summit was the culmination of several years of work in other campaigns and public awareness efforts. It followed on the heels of increased public discourse about the need for improved addiction recovery policies. Faces & Voices of Recovery incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) corporation in 2004 and is governed by a 21-member Board of Directors.
No. Faces & Voices has always worked to include and embrace people with all types of recovery experiences, including their family members and friends. The campaign’s founders stated that: “The campaign will demonstrate that millions of individuals and families from every walk of life have found recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. It will show that there are many paths to recovery – self-help, professional treatment, medical interventions – and that all of these paths have proven to work.”
No. The vast majority of people with alcohol and drug problems are employed. In 2007, of the 20.4 million adults classified with substance abuse dependence or abuse, 12.3 million (60.4 percent) were employed full-time.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Recovery advocates believe that times are changing – and the language needs to change, too. For example, now that science has helped us to see that alcoholism is an addiction, it should be referred to as an addiction just like a cocaine or heroin addiction. We find the use of the terms “abuse” and “substance abuse” as particularly troubling because they undermine the understanding that addiction is an illness, not a moral failure. We believe that language matters and non-discriminatory language can help society relinquish the stigma that comes with addiction to alcohol and other drugs. We urge federal agencies that use the word abuse in their names to change those names, journalists to refer to “people with addictions” and that organizations discuss and reform their own use of language.
The recovery community is people in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families, friends and allies.
Addiction is a public health problem that affects many people and has wide-ranging social consequences. Addiction does begin when an individual makes a conscious choice to use drugs, but addiction is not just “a lot of drug use.” Recent scientific research provides overwhelming evidence that not only do drugs interfere with normal brain functioning creating powerful feelings of pleasure, but they also have long-term effects on brain metabolism and activity. At some point, changes occur in the brain that can turn drug use into addiction, a chronic, relapsing illness. Faces and Voices Science of Addiction and Recovery training is a great resource on this topic.
There are many pathways to recovery. There are a range of effective addiction treatment programs abound throughout the U.S., and there are several directories that can help point people in need to a nearby program. It is important to find a program that matches your needs and outlook. One place to begin your search is at the federal government’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment facility locator. You can also check out our Guide to Mutual Aid Resources.
Studies have shown that every dollar invested in treatment and recovery programs yields $2.00 to $10.00 in savings in health costs, criminal and juvenile justice costs, educational costs, and lost productivity.
More than than 7 million adult Americans are in the criminal justice system; 2 million offenders are incarcerated and 5 million are on probation or parole. Fifty percent of these offenders are classified as being dependent on drugs, and nearly a third of State prisoners and a quarter of Federal prisoners committed their crimes under the influence of drugs. The failure to address the addiction of those under criminal justice supervision has severe consequences for society, the offender, and taxpayers.
The annual estimated societal cost of alcohol and other drug addiction in the United States is $510.8 billion.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more Americans now die from drug overdoses than in car accidents. During the past three decades, the number of drug poisoning deaths has increased sixfold, from about 6,000 deaths in 1980 to over 36,500 in 2008.