In honor of the 25th anniversary of National Recovery Month, the Office of National Drug Control Policy gathered members and supporters of the recovery community at The White House on September 17. The event celebrated the work of treatment advocates and the accomplishments of people in recovery from substance use disorders.
Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli, recently nominated to be director, began the event with moving words. His spoke candidly of his own recovery journey, and said, “We are people with substance use disorders. We are not addicts, drunks, or junkies.”
The celebration included a panel of notable individuals whose lives were impacted by substance use: Laurie Dhue, former Fox News anchor; Mayor Tim Wilson of Brooklyn Center, MN; Ruben Castaneda, author of S Street Rising and former Washington Post reporter; Cris Carter, professional football player; and Christina Huffington, daughter of The Huffington Post founder who has written about her experience with addiction.
The panelists relayed their personal experiences with addiction and discussed topics from treatment access to staying sober on college campuses to the NFL’s handling of drug use.
Patrick Kennedy, co-founder of One Mind for Research, celebrated accomplishments and emphasized the need for further action. “In order to take this movement to the next level, we need to treat this like any other chronic illness,” he said.
Thanks to all the participants for coming out to celebrate recovery and decrease stigma surrounding mental health and addiction treatment. A video of Recovery at the White House is available on YouTube.