In recent weeks, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy has taken a huge risk, professionally and personally, by speaking about the addictions and mental health issues that were abundant in his family. He is a hero to many for his courage to use his personal, and very public story, to change the sentiment from an individual’s moral failures to their personal medical condition (English, 2015).
On Oct 30th, the New York Times released an article detailing the shift in perception about who drug addicts are—they are everyone. Addiction does not have socio-economic or demographic barriers.
Addiction is a biological disease of the brain. Once addicted, caused by genetic and environmental factors, the brain takes over and the individual is unable to control the craving and need to use drugs and alcohol.
We are learning to talk about addiction, drugs, mental health disorders that are associated and how all of these affect the lives of the person afflicted, their families, and our communities. We are starting conversations and collaborating. It’s time to shrug off the stigma and reveal the secret.
Patrick Kennedy, and his cousin Chris Lawford, are using their influence to bring awareness and change on a national platform. We need your help to influence change on a much smaller parade ground.
At one time, the diagnosis of breast cancer, cervical cancer, developmental delays, and depression all carried stigma and perceptions with them look at how we view these diseases now. We hold walks and runs; we have blogs dedicated to documenting treatment and recovery. Help us begin conversations about substance use and mental health disorders with your neighbors, family, and friends. Invite them to come to Fort Logan to meet the extraordinary men, women, and adolescents working to change their lives. Host a coffee or get together to discuss how a change in perception reunites families, empowers individuals, and provides opportunity.
We need your help and encouragement to brave the change. To break the cycle. To exemplify recovery.