What is the solution to the addiction crisis?
Currently, less than 10 percent of people will ever seek medical help of any kind for their addiction. Hundreds of people lose their lives daily, leaving behind family members, friends, loved ones, children, and community members. Yet, when the recovery community organizes, reform is possible.
There is a powerful movement happening in the United States that is revolutionizing the way we fight the addiction crisis. Ryan Hampton is here to talk about how we can all Mobilize Recovery!
Over four years into recovery from a decade-long opioid addiction, Ryan Hampton has been rocketed to the center of America’s rising addiction recovery advocacy movement. A former White House staffer, he has worked with multiple non-profits and national recovery advocacy campaigns. He is now a prominent, leading face and voice of addiction recovery and is changing the national conversation about addiction.
With content that reaches over 1 million people a week, Ryan is breaking down cultural barriers that have kept people suffering in silence and is inspiring a new generation of people recovering out loud through his Voices Project. He’s also advocating for solutions and holding public policy makers accountable.
He was part of the core team that released the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s report on addiction in 2016 and was singled out by Forbes as a top social entrepreneur in the recovery movement. Ryan connects a vast network of people who are passionate about ending the drug epidemic in America. He has been featured by—and is a contributor to—media outlets such as USA Today, MSNBC, Fox and Friends, the New York Times, NPR, HLN, Vice, Forbes, Slate, HuffPost, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal, and others.
A former aide to President Bill Clinton, Ryan has received praise from Democrats and Republicans alike for addressing addiction as a trans-political issue—crossing the political spectrum to build an inclusive coalition focused on solutions. He worked closely with the Trump White House, Senate Democrats, Republicans and U.S. House leadership in crafting portions of the historic H.R. 6, SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, signed into law by the President in October 2018. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has lauded that “Ryan’s story gives government leaders on both sides of the aisle smart commonsense solutions to consider.”
On October 22, 2018, Ryan announced Recovery Voices Vote, an initiative he’s leading to register and engage new recovery oriented voters in all 50 states. In 2016, he created the web series Addiction Across America, documenting his 30-day, 28 state, 8,000-mile cross-country trip visiting areas hit hardest by the addiction crisis.
His first book, “American Fix — Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It” published by St. Martin’s Press, was released in August 2018.
Addiction is a crisis of epidemic proportions and shows no sign of slowing down. It affects people of every race, class, social group, religion, and gender. It does not discriminate. Currently, 23 million Americans are in sustained recovery from substance use disorder. Another 22 million are suffering from this highly preventable, treatable illness. One in every three households includes a person with substance use disorder; beyond the home, the prevalence of addiction affects almost everyone. From healthcare systems overloaded with people desperate for help, to criminal justice courts crammed with people who need treatment instead of jail time, our society is burdened by the stigma of addiction.
Without civic engagement, organization, and recovery advocacy, millions of people will never access the life-saving support they need. Currently, less than 10 percent of people will ever seek medical help of any kind for their addiction. Hundreds of people lose their lives daily, leaving behind family members, friends, loved ones, children, and community members. Yet, when the recovery community organizes, reform is possible. Activists have successfully accessed funding for recovery supports, effective and ethical standards for treatment, and changes to employment processes. When recovery speaks, people listen. Yet, finding solutions is delayed by lack of access to other community groups and difficulty connecting with like-minded people. We follow in the footsteps of social justice movements such as the Civil Rights movement, ACT UP, and the fight for LGBTQ rights. What we’ve learned is that policy change is crucial to keeping the hard-won gains of grassroots activists who took to the front lines in the fight for equality. With more people engaged, we make more progress. As a mobilized, civically engaged constituency of consequence, we can turn the tide of the epidemic and create sustainable change at every level that doesn’t end with a single march or fundraiser.
Our Mobilize Recovery project is primarily funded by the Facebook Community Leadership Program and will build capacity for organized civic advocacy around the country. We will identify, train, connect, and work with recovery advocates in all 50 states. Each of these selected community organizers will have lived experience with substance use disorders. By sharing resources, coordinating our agenda, and taking action as a powerful, confident constituency, we will create change that affects millions of people in a positive way.
Ryan Hampton’s Links
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