Through my grief, as I was conceiving of the idea of More Than Addiction, there was one question I returned to again and again: How do we humanize addiction?
My brother Bradley was intelligent, gregarious, and adventurous, and from the get go, my hope was for people to remember this about him. And it got me thinking about the collective societal pats on the back we give ourselves when we feel good about how the worst of what we see in the addicted — either in the media or in our community — would never be us…it couldn’t be, right?
And this question and thinking and, of course, it led to several other questions.
How can MTA use stories to change people’s lives?
In the addiction stories we see and hear in the media, whose voices are represented and whose voices aren’t?
How can MTA represent the complexities and nuances of those addicted and struggling and those in the struggle with them, working towards solutions?
How can we impact change and spark compassion?
And the answer to all of these questions is…we need your help.
More Than Addiction seeks to tell stories to shift the damaging and demoralizing rhetoric of addiction. And we can’t do that alone.
We have, so far, featured moving, inspiring stories of people in recovery. What I’m learning is recovery stories are incredibly valuable. They help folks feel seen and heard. They offer hope. They empower.
But we also want to tell More Than Addiction stories that represent the experiences of anyone impacted by drug addiction, working toward combatting it, or engaged in advocacy work. We want to hear from health care professionals who treat the patient and the person, teachers who care for children impacted by addiction, clergy who counsel, advocates who tirelessly fight.
And we want to know the MORE. How do you see yourself, your loved one, your student, your patient, your COMMUNITY as MORE than addiction? How can you offer hope? How can you help humanize?
We want to hear the story that hasn’t been told. Because sadly, we are intimately familiar with the dominate strung-out-on-the-streets narrative. And if someone doesn’t know, just turn on Netflix or the news, or open a newspaper. You’ll see it and you’ll read it.
So today MTA asks you in deep gratitude, respect, and appreciation, how are you More Than Addiction?
How can you help us spark compassion?