Day 50, Aug 18, Everton, MO.
I received some good news this morning from my niece, #Emma Winiski, who advocated for us as a Harvard grad student. Recovery Research Institute with Harvard and Mass General in Boston is going to promote InJoelSteps. Their work, headed by Dr. John Kelly, is integral to the work of thousands of treatment centers throughout the country. They help to research, develop, and communicate best practices for substance addiction treatment. Their adoption of InJoelSteps is a significant step towards the national exposure we hope to bring to the handicapping role that stigma plays in SUD prevention, reduction, and treatment.
The picture of the Amish farmer traveling by horse and cart shows the only vehicle slower than me right now on the Missouri roads. The practice of using a horse rather than a car or tractor is quaint and perhaps romantic to some of us, but is definitely much slower and not as effective as a means to travel or to work. There is much to admire and learn from the simplicity, character, and ethics of Amish life and the benefits of their tight knit community. But sticking to ideas of addiction being a moral or character issue bolsters the stigmatization of those suffering from SUD - fundamentally a brain disease - handicapping treatment access and success. It slows more efficient and effective preventive, treatment, and sobriety maintanence approaches down to horse and cart travel rather than by car or tractor.
Addiction is a treatable brain disease that disables sound decision-making.