Reality can be a real buzzkill. While it’s true that most people can drink alcohol, use prescription pain killers, and even experiment with recreational drugs without becoming addicted, it’s also true that one in seven people in the United States will develop a substance use disorder.
If you’re one of the lucky six out of seven, most of the stories you’ve heard about addiction are probably tragic. Advocacy organizations and government agencies often gather up their sobering statistics, like the one we shared above, and toss them out to the news media, with the hope that spreading the word about the dangers of the disease might help prevent more people from succumbing to addiction, and might garner more support for research and treatment from the general public. These are worthy goals, the pain and tragedy of addiction is real, and those stories need to be told— But, it’s only one side of the story.
In honor of National Recovery Month, we’ll be exploring the other side of the story. There are millions of people, like Dan, for whom recovery from addiction is an everyday part of life. They are people who have been able to free themselves from what once seemed a very hopeless situation. People who have helped restore their families by clearing a path to healing. People who are making larger contributions to their communities.
Everyone knows someone who suffers from a substance use disorder. And, chances are, if you are not in recovery yourself, you know someone who is. Even if you feel pretty certain that you don’t know anyone in recovery— trust us—you probably do. (Those 12-step programs all have the word “Anonymous” in their names for a reason.) That is what we are celebrating this month.
When you start to consider how many addicted people have found a way to beat the odds and live happy, full, productive, and joyful lives in spite of their struggles, the story of addiction becomes one of triumph rather than tragedy.
To help us celebrate National Recovery Month, go to Dan’s Facebook page and share your own story of recovery, if you have one. Let people who are currently in the throes of their addictions know that there is hope. Recovery is a reality for millions in our country and we want to make sure that reality outshines our society’s seeming obsession with addiction and the often sad truth of its destruction. For this month, let’s make the celebration of recovery the loudest message and let it ring throughout the rest of the year.
About The Man Rules Podcast Host, Dan Griffin
Dan Griffin, M.A., is an internationally recognized author, thought leader, and expert on men’s relationships and masculinity. His work and life is dedicated to exploring and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Dan is dedicated to helping men be better men by understanding the impact of the Man Rules on their lives and finding the success in their personal lives they are striving for in the professional lives. His professional background includes over two decades in the mental health and addictions field. Dan earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Kansas where his graduate work was the first qualitative study centered on the social construction of masculinity in the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dan grew up in the DC area and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Nancy, and his daughter, Grace, and has been in long-term recovery from addiction since he graduated college in May of 1994.