"The people who survive this disease deserve our admiration and awe. They also deserve to be listened to." - Stephen

Stephen Noble Smith is running for governor of West Virginia. And he is the real deal. Read, share, and support people who so generously and passionately support others.

Thank you, Stephen, for sharing with More Than Addiction. Read his full interview below.
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- What is your passion? What brings you fulfillment?

What brings me the most joy is watching someone do something courageous they never thought they could do, watching someone realize their power for the first time. I get to work with a lot of working class people - teachers, social workers, construction workers - who are running for office for the first time. They're all trying to do what's right and serve their communities. I love the moment when one of them makes their decision to run, or gives their first public speech.

-Who is the real you? What do you want others to know or understand about you?

I'm broken, like everyone else. My strength comes from the people around me -- mostly my wife Sara. As a public defender, she goes into that courtroom and stands proudly on the side of people no one else wants to stand next to. A society should be judged by how it treats the least of us, and everyday Sara fights like hell to protect the dignity of the people in our society who are hurting the most. I look for people who are braver and smarter than me, so that maybe it wears off on me too.

-How are you MORE Than addiction?

I've never had to survive substance use disorder myself, but people in my family have. I am more than any one thing that my family has done - good or bad.

-What does being MORE THAN addiction mean to you?

More than addiction means that we see our friends and families and neighbors as human beings, no matter what disease they suffer from, no matter what things they've done. It means fighting the urge to put down ourselves or someone else because of their flaws. It means remembering that all of us are flawed, and we are all more than those flaws.

-What is one thing you want others to understand about the disease?

The people who survive this disease deserve our admiration and awe. They also deserve to be listened to.

You can't have a civil rights movement without black leadership. You can't have a strike without workers. And we will never solve our drug crisis without the leadership of people in recovery.

Thank you so much for your time & wisdom Stephen Noble Smith. We are so grateful to you and for your hope and leadership. To learn more about Stephen and his campaign, Like WV Can't Wait on Facebook and visit https://wvcantwait.com/

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