RECOVERY MONTH 2011: GETTING RID OF ADDICTION STIGMA

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By: Kimberly Williams

Throughout the month of September, initiatives surrounding its designation as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month have promoted recovery and supported the growth of healthy, resilient individuals and families in the United States.

When President Barack Obama acknowledged this annual event, his proclamation underscored the reality that alcohol and other drugs threaten the future of millions of Americans. “Abuse of prescription medication has reached epidemic levels, drunk and drugged driving pose significant threats to public safety,” the President noted. “As a nation, we must strive to promote second chances and recognize each individual’s ability to overcome adversity.”

However, despite national efforts to increase education and recovery programs, many Americans question if we are actually winning this battle. What have we learned in recent years and are we on the right track?

For some answers, I spoke with my MHA-NYC colleague Dr. Ellen Friedman, a psychotherapist with extensive experience as a clinical director at many substance abuse treatment programs.

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