Last week, young leaders in recovery sat down at the White House to talk about their recovery journeys – and to encourage others to share their stories of recovery.
The event was broadcast live on WhiteHouse.gov, and more than 100 groups signed up to host watch parties and discussions across the country. Using the hashtag #RecoveryatWH, they asked questions and shared comments and pictures of their local events. Together these tweets about recovery reached more than 20 million people.
Christina Huffington, a journalist and young person in recovery, moderated the panel, which included recovery leaders Ariel Britt, Justin Luke Riley, and Tim Rabolt.
A big motivation for tonight’s event is to help combat the stigma around addiction and around substance use, and I think that one of the ways we can all do that is by sharing our stories. – Christina Huffington
The four panelists emphasized the importance of stories in removing the stigma from recovery, and shared the ways their lives have changed as a result of their recovery journeys. They talked about how conversations on recovery can help create opportunities for more youth recovery services in schools, workplaces, and communities, as well as the value of support from friends and family.
It takes courage for people like Christina, Ariel, Tim, and Justin to share their stories and take leadership on these issues. Young people are leading the way in changing how we think about and treat people with substance use disorders.
I feel that there’s so much work that needs to be done, and somebody has to do it – and telling my story is a huge part of that, as well as creating spaces for other people to share their stories. – Ariel Britt
You can check out the full panel discussion below, and if you have a recovery story, you can add your voice by sharing your story today.