Let’s Talk is a concept I came up with a couple of years ago with a friend of mine. We decided that it might be a good idea to hold an informative town hall meeting to discuss addiction and how it affects our community. In the past, not many people showed up or had the urge to talk about this “taboo” subject!
Fortunately, I don’t give up easily. So, I am back at it!
From the front page of the Sunday New York Times to the presidential campaign trail, the American people are talking about the disturbing subject of heroin and addiction. Every time I tell someone what I do for a living, they respond, “I have a family member, dear friend or neighbor that has been battling addiction.”
If people know a person or a number of people battling with addiction, why is this subject off-limits? It is 2016 and it is time to educate our communities as to what an addict is. That is why I am going to attempt this again with some help from dear friends.
Our mission is to bring addiction out of the shadows and to educate society that addiction is a disease, not who you are. Everyone needs to get busy living sober! We are going to host a panel, with each person telling a little bit about themselves and their story. Afterwards, we will open up the conversation and let the audience ask questions or tell their own stories.
We are not here to tell you not to drink or to not to do drugs – we are here to support those who think they may have a problem or those individuals who have a loved one with a problem. We want people to feel like they are safe and loved, and know that they are not alone.
Addiction is a genetic problem that is passed down through our DNA and has nothing to do with morals, values, education or the amount of money a person has. An article in Time magazine from 2011 points out that in 1956, the American Medical Association recognized alcoholism as a disease.
It is time to get rid of the shame and get busy living!