A few weeks ago, I flew out to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Unite to Face Addiction concert. Tens of thousands of people were there, and it was incredible to see how many people's lives have been touched by addiction. It was even more incredible to see how many people are recognizing addiction as a disease.
The tribute itself was so amazing. From Steven Tyler to The Fray, I was so honored to be a part of that night. To watch it unfold and see what this movement has started is humbling. This event won't be the one thing that changes everything, however it has put in place a domino effect. It is critical for people in the recovery industry to advocate and promote the disease model of addiction. Addiction is not a moral issue. Currently, a person dies every 4 minutes from a drug related incident. In 2013, someone was dying every 10 minutes. To see that gap closing in is very scary.
The Unite to Face Addiction concert had, and continues to have, such a profound effect. From viewers and attendees to performers and recovery professionals like myself and Origins, we all continue to push our message that getting sober is easy, but staying sober is where the challenge lies. Aftercare is critical to obtain long term recovery. The more people that get sober, the more that can live in recovery. That was one of my primary goals in going to this event was to share that message with everyone I could while I was there. I think it is incredibly important for people within the recovery industry to step forth and create standards of aftercare and living in recovery and work to put them in place.
That's why my personal missions at my facility, Widespread Recovery, and at Origins is to not only provide resources, but also positive outcomes for those who need it. I was personally inspired at the Unite to Face Addiction concert, and will continue to go forth with my message, as well as the determination to help those in need.