Where are all the Billboards?

I found myself walking through LAX last week on my way to Vancouver to meet with the Health Minister of British Columbia to talk about the desperate need the British Columbia community has for treatment facilities and to speak at a fundraising dinner for my friends at Turning Point who do such amazing things helping people move into a new life of recovery. Anyway, while walking through the terminal I noticed 2 giant signs for Best Buddies, one with Cindy Crawford and a couple of kids and another with Tom Brady and a couple of kids. Best Buddies was started by my cousin Anthony Shriver and helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities find jobs, enhance their leadership skills and build friendships. I was glad to see the signs, but it struck me that I never seen anything like that dealing with recovery. I see some signage and advertising around the DISEASE. I see people selling cures they don’t have and I see covert messages to call such and such a number if you or someone you love needs help, but there’s nothing about promoting or sustaining recovery. I wondered why. Is it because we don’t need to do it? Has nobody thought of anything that might be helpful, or maybe it’s because the only way to look at this challenge is to treat the active addiction. After that’s accomplished your done, but all of us in recovery know that is just the beginning. Where is the infrastructure to support people in their new life? I mean, the 12 steps do a lot, but is it enough? Maybe those of us in recovery don’t believe that we deserve to be out in the world. Maybe we are the ones that look at our disease as a moral failing. Maybe Nancy Reagan was right and you just get on with it. For me that is not acceptable, and I wanted to know why there aren’t any billboards offering people who are walking a new path the services, support and encouragement they deserve.

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~ by Christopher Kennedy Lawford on June 25, 2010.

6 Responses to “Where are all the Billboards?”

  1. I’m old school..I drank did drugs and it was my problem..when I got sober on my own, no meetings, no steps, no nothing but me..it was my problem. I didnt’ need any help becoming a drunk, and I didn’t need any help getting sober or staying sober..think it’s a personal responsiblity…I know a lot of people disagree and have problems dealing with their addiction like I did. But that’s their problem.

  2. I’d like to see more publicity surrounding Hepatitis C, since it is four times more common than HIV! Maybe those who wish to remain anonymous need to do so for their recovery from addiction, but there is no tradition of anonymity with regard to blood-borne pathogens!

  3. I think there are billboards everywhere. They are not big large and well lit at night. They do not stand high above the fray of our nation’s freeways. They are in our schools, our businesses, our communities, but most importantly, they are in our families.

    The miracles of recovery are all around us living normal everyday lives. Mostly small, average lives.

    I do not need the encouragement of movie stars or high fashion models to be a billboard. I do not need bright lights to pass the message on. All I need is the light in my children”s eyes,(a light, by the way, that I was pretty sure I had single handedly extinguished with alcohol), my hand in the air and my voice.

    God bless you, Chris, for all you do, for the message you deliver and the example you set for so many.

  4. We need to get the first olive out of the jar, after that it might become a trend across the country… I’m with ya on this! and will help anyway I can!

  5. I feel that most people do not get sober on “their own”. Most stay sober and benefit from a 12 step program and if they just stay sober without really working a program then the old issues that drove them to drink or drug are still there.Advertising campaigns surrounding health issues help to drive public image / acceptance and at the least get some conversation going

  6. Chris is absolutely 100% right: where ARE the SUPPORTS the Recovering Community MUST HAVE to MAINTAIN RECOVERY? It’s just like all these “doctors” (and I use the term loosely!) who sell these 2-3 day Subutex and Suboxone “Instant Detoxes”. They charge thousands for it then after a few days kick the patient to the curb and say “good luck”. then the patients immediately resume thier addiction they were supposedly “FIXED” from….. this is CRIMINAL and these doctors are simply thieves.They KNOW without a minimum of 30-90 dyas Treatment following Detox–the patient will immediately return to their addiction.

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