Radical Recovery

This week’s Throwback Sunday is Bill White’s description of radical recovery.


Be-The-Change-e1348837935700For MLK day, here’s an article by Bill White on “radical recovery.” He describes a convergence of social activism and addiction recovery.

The article offers a model that goes well beyond the the interests of recovering people themselves and encourages advocacy in larger community contexts:

A radical recovery movement is now rising in America. That movement is flowing from the realization that addiction and its progeny of problems are visible everywhere, while recovery from addiction lies hidden. It is rising in the recognition that the stigma attached to AOD problems has increased in recent decades and has fueled the demedicalization and recriminalization of these problems. What started out as “zero tolerance” for drugs rapidly evolved into zero tolerance for people with AOD problems. It is in this regressive climate that a style of recovery is emerging that is radical in its scope (focus on environmental as well as personal transformation), radical in its inclusiveness (celebration of multiple pathways and styles of recovery), and radical in its synthesis of social responsibility and personal accountability. People in recovery are looking beyond their own addiction and recovery experiences to the broader social conditions within which AOD problems arise and are sustained. A radicalized vanguard of people in recovery is using personal transformation as a fulcrum for social change. They are living Gandhi’s challenge to become the change they wish to see in the world. Those who were once part of the problem are becoming part of the solution.

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