Recovery advocacy is making history. This statement has been true since the inception of Faces and Voices of Recovery. History is a teaching process. Today, The recovery community is unifying around key priorities — to gain needed resources and to end discrimination against people in recovery. We are working to eliminate barriers to recovery for every American and every family, and to help today’s children and future generations, who often are the biggest winners in the process of recovery. The existence of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) and the value of Peer Recovery Support bring this message within communities and homes.
Over time, our actions met the opportunities provided. We began by putting a face and voice on recovery. From the fact that by our silence we let others define us, we learned the power of story. We produced The Recovery Bill of Rights—a statement of the principle that all Americans have a right to recover from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The list of our involvement and accomplishments is long. Make Recovery Voices Count! Took us to congress, caucuses, and conventions. We can highlight our attention to the Justice system with The Second Chance Act, access to paths of recovery through The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and most recently, the passage and Presidential signing of the Comprehensive Action and Recovery Act. (CARA). All of the credit can be shared with allies who recognize that recovery from addiction has a large pay-off both economically and socially.
However, in all cases, the passage of the above Acts mentioned required rule making and funding. There is always more to be done. Recovery education and support isn’t funded, as it deserves—yet. After CARA was signed, I posted the following on Facebook. We must continue to make our case that investment in recovery support pays big dividends. The overwhelming evidence of the positive financial impact of recovery is growing. Recovery is where it all pays off. We can believe that the statement, follow the money, will change to Hey Money—Follow Us.
We will continue to make history but it is important to note this: During the Honors event, one speaker quoted Lincoln who said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it” As we said, Recovery advocacy can create a better future– for families and to help today’s children and future generations, who often are the biggest winners in the process of recovery. When it comes to creating the future and making history—we are on it.