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While it’s true we’re still in the midst of March, in another week we’ll be entering the month notoriously known for its Spring rain showers. Sure, April is a time to break out the raincoats and umbrellas, but it’s also notorious for recognizing and celebrating volunteers.

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Patty McCarthy Metcalf, Face’s and Voices of Recovery’s Executive Director, invited me a few months ago to contribute a blog (I did) and from time to time to write about FaVoR’s history. There is a lot of it. I was privileged to serve as Chairman of the board for six of the early years, so there is a lot to write about but there are important episodes. I was prompted by something I read to write this blog.

James Fallows, wrote an article for the March Atlantic Monthly, titled Can America Put Itself Back Together? He said, “Many people are discouraged about America, but the closer they are to the action at home, the better they like what they see. … in scores of ways, Americans are figuring out how to take advantage of the opportunities of this era, often through bypassing or ignoring the dismal national conversation.” In face of this, the New Recovery Advocacy Movement (NRAM) provides a positive presence and unity at the national level. We can state that our action at home takes place through the Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) with all of their supportive activities.

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New Recovery Advocacy Movement Basics Definition- The New Recovery Advocacy Movement (NRAM) is a social movement led by people in addiction recovery and their allies aimed at altering public and professional attitudes toward addiction recovery, promulgating recovery-focused policies and programs, and supporting efforts to break intergenerational cycles of addiction and related problems. Historical Context- The…

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Addiction is a deadly epidemic affecting every community across our great nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more Americans die each year from drug overdoses than in car crashes. While Faces & Voices of Recovery leads the way in raising the profile of the recovery community by demonstrating and celebrating long-term recovery,…

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Growing up, I was taught that I shouldn’t use drugs. Even though others in my family had experienced problems with substance use, it didn’t spark the kind of two-way discussion that would have allowed for an open dialogue. Today, things are different; my family and I talk openly about this important health issue. In fact, I have 6 nieces and nephews, and as each one reaches an appropriate age, I share my recovery story and make them aware of the dangers of drug use, the history of addiction in our family, and the importance of making healthy choices. I encourage you to do the same.

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National surveys have given us with valuable information about rates of alcohol and other drug use, abuse and dependence (SAMHSA, 2013). Much of what we know about addiction, however, has come from information obtained from men and women entering inpatient or outpatient treatment for their substance use problems. (SAMHSA, 2013). While such information is important, it represents only one segment of the much larger group of people with addictions. Many such individuals have never been admitted to a substance abuse treatment program nor have they participated in any kind of addiction recovery support group (White et al., 2013).

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Over several years, I served as Board Chair of Faces and Voices of Recovery. During many retreats and meetings we talked about someday bringing about a great assembly in D.C. My caution always was, when we are truly ready. We got ready. Unfortunately, When the Unite to Face Addiction event happened and recovery celebrants gathered on the 4th, other commitments kept me away. I was certainly there in spirit. Thanks to the Legal Action Center for the live streaming. Thanks to the planning and executing team that made this happen. I saw and felt the energy and joy of that great recovery community. I also heard the echoes of all the recovery rallies held across the nation in September. Though the event dodged the rain, I suspect there were few dry eyes during much of the event.

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