Because recovering alcohol and drug addicts face what they believe is discrimination in employment and health care, due to many in society still seeing addiction as a moral shortcoming instead of an illness that must be treated, the group wants to educate the public about addiction.
Jerry Mathis, project director for the organization, says the Missouri Recovery Network hopes to reduce the stigma attached to alcoholism and addiction through several educational avenues.
"We're going to mobilize the recovery community to come forward to tell their stories with the hope of reducing the stigma and offer hope for those people still suffering," he told the News-Press. "We want people to know that recovery is possible, (and) we’re trying to change the attitude that some people have about addiction."
"What I need the community to understand is the need to believe in addicts as well as employers helping them with flexible schedules around treatment and (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings," said Lisa Doyle, an addiction treatment services director. "There’s going to be a few who betray that trust, but for nine out of 10 it’s going to be worth that trust."
Alonzo Weston wrote an article, Stigma Hounds Recovering Addicts for the St. Joseph News-Press that outlines some of the steps the network is taking and features one network member's story.
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