Michael Botticelli is a former Director of National Drug Control Policy, as well as a person in recovery from addiction and a gay man. In this talk, Michael explains the paralells between the way society shamed and neglected gay men suffering with HIV/AIDs in the 1980 to the way society treats people struggling with addiction today. In both cases, blame for the disease was placed on the person suffering instead of in a broader context of society and biology. In both cases, the shame associated with the disease keeps people silent and perpetuates the disease. Michael explains that today, it’s easier for him to “come out” as gay than to “come out” as a recovering person, even though he’s been sober for 20 years.
Treatment and connection are the answer, not isolation and punishment. At Welwynn, we believe that people undergoing the courageous task of recovery deserve the utmost respect, and the highest quality treatment. Only 1 in 9 people struggling with addiction will get help for their disease. For any other diease this would be considered unaccepable; for addiction it is too. Watching Michael speak about his journey is well worth 10 minutes of your time.