Top Menu

Those in Recovery Should Speak Out, Give Hope to Others: Drug Policy Official


People in recovery from substance abuse should speak out and give hope to others in similar situations, according to the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Michael Botticelli, speaking at a forum in New Haven, noted 23 million Americans are recovery. Only about one in nine people with a substance use disorder receive treatment, he said. Botticelli said stigma and denial about substance abuse are obstacles to treatment, the Associated Press reports.

Botticelli is in long-term recovery from addiction, celebrating more than 24 years of sobriety.

“We know that one of the biggest reasons people don’t ask for help is shame and denial,” he said. “We need to break that silence. We’ve done it with other diseases and we can do it with substance use and we can do it with recovery.”

7 Responses to this article

  1. Elaine Keller / April 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Great idea, except the U.S. Government (National Cancer Institute) censors such stories. They specifically asked for people to select their location on a map and then tell how they quit.

    I entered my story, and it was disappeared a day or so later. I re-entered my story, and again it was removed. I tried a 3rd time, and it happened again. Many others, all of whom mentioned using e-cigarettes to quit, had their stories deleted as well. This was documented in a blog post that included a screen capture of the “before” the deletions version of the page.

    My story is near the top of page 4 of the document (Elaine, 22153). But if you go look on the site, it isn’t there.

    E-cigarettes have worked for smokers who, like me, had almost given up all hope of ever being able to quit. I have not smoked since March 27, 2009. My use of the e-cigarette gradually waned with no conscious effort on my part and I stopped using mine about a year ago.

  2. Avatar of Kirk Axelson
    Kirk Axelson / April 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    One of the greatest gift I’ve given myself was speaking up about my addictions. With that said it took a great amount of courage to go public with it. There came a time where I had to let go of the shame and denial, stand in the truth. So that I can reach out to others with hopes of inspiring. It’s all in a book titled “FANTASTIC! How One word Can Shape Your Destiny”

  3. Avatar of Leonard
    Leonard / April 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I agree. Please please tell me where the number 23 million comes from. What survey what study?
    If I can prove that’s this just think it is accurate I can use it in my presentations. Thank you so much Leonard Buschel, founder REEL recovery film Festival

  4. Cheryl / April 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    They do, every day of the year……

    Have you heard of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. Want speakers? Just ask!!!!

    Friends and families of addicts will speak out too!
    Nar-Anon Family Groups!

  5. Avatar of Ken Bartolo
    Ken Bartolo / April 24, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I go to schools and speak all the time no one in my 12 step groups has ever said anything negative to me about it. I’d love to help and agree “speak out” to anyone who needs it

  6. Karen Hanneman / April 23, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    “People in recovery from SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS should speak out…”

  7. Ray Tirrell / April 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    No question about it, stigma and denial are obstacles but not to those who are passionate and committed to the illness of addiction. As of yet there is no National Alliance of Former Substance Abusers in Recovery but wouldn’t be a grand idea? This type of alliance could even be a lobbying force for good but where does one begin to take on such an endeavor? Any thoughts on this?

Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication is strictly prohibited without prior consent. Photographic rights remain the property of Join Together and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. For reproduction inquiries, please e-mail