Don’t Wait To Be The Change: Mobilize!

Mobilize Recovery is a nationwide recovery initiative, supported by Facebook and spearheaded by The Voices Project. The initiative’s goal is simple: to create a network of people who are passionate about recovery and motivated to get involved in grassroots efforts to end the drug epidemic.

Although our national public health crisis surrounding addiction started decades ago, it has reached a fever pitch in the last few years. New opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin, entered the marketplace in 2002. These drugs were marketed aggressively to prescribers and patients alike. People were told the pills were a “cure-all,” a low-risk treatment for everything from menstrual cramps to chronic illness. However, few doctors were informed about the serious, life-threatening risks attached to these pills. Instead, they were educated by the very companies that were selling the pills. Misleading marketing materials, high-class resort vacations, and financial incentives for writing more prescriptions helped push billions of these pills into American homes.

The average person develops a physical dependence on opioids after 3 days, even if they’re taking pills as prescribed for legitimate pain. After the three days, the person will experience withdrawal. They may return for more pills, even though they don’t need them. The wheels of addiction are set in motion, although the person doesn’t realize it yet. They start to experience symptoms of substance use disorder, and may end up with severe consequences if they’re left untreated. Multiply this patient’s experience by millions of people, and you’ve created a national drug epidemic of sick people who are desperate for help.

Mobilize Recovery wants to break this cycle. The initiative works on a broad scale to:

●      support efforts to educate people about addiction

●      offer solutions like harm reduction and recovery support services

●      train people to use naloxone for overdose prevention

●      connect with elected leaders to push pro-recovery legislation

●      amplify the voices of people with substance use disorder

●      change the narrative around addiction to a story of hope

●      empower people in recovery as voters, community members, and advocates

Beginning with 100 motivated recovery advocates, Mobilize Recovery had its first training in Las Vegas in July 2019. Representatives from each state gathered to share resources, learn about recovery efforts in other areas, and get trained on advocacy tactics. Hundreds of other attendees listened to the conference via livestream.

Presenters spoke about the history of the recovery movement, ways to uplift the message of recovery, how factors like race and class affect recovery outcomes, and where the epidemic comes from. After the two-day event, participants returned home with an action plan and goals for their state and regions. They continue to work together with initiative leaders to recruit, motivate, and actualize those goals.

Mobilize Recovery acknowledges the devastating effects of the drug epidemic, while also offering a way for people to fight back. Recovery is the solution to addiction related deaths: hundreds of advocates, nationwide, are already hard at work saving lives and speaking out. The Mobilize Recovery initiative brings those voices together so we can do more, speak louder, and end the crisis faster.