“The Anonymous People” and the Public Recovery Movement

Many in recovery from substance abuse and other addictions choose anonymity, often participating in 12-step “Anonymous”-type programs. But a new documentary called The Anonymous People focuses on something called The New Recovery Advocacy Movement, an alternative to this more traditional approach.

From its website:

THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE IS A FEATURE documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Deeply entrenched social stigma have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The vacuum has been filled with sensational mass media depictions of people with addiction that perpetuate a lurid fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, a grass roots social justice movement is emerging. Courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and move toward recovery-based solutions.

The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement aims to transform public opinion, engage communities and elected officials, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting solutions.

Watch the trailer below:

Greg Williams, age 28, is the creator of The Anonymous People and is reportedly himself at least 11 years sober from multiple substances. No longer “Greg W.”, he’s now fully out. Why? He’s on a mission to reduce the stigma attached to addiction and recovery.

From an article at Juvenile Justice: “[Williams] hopes the movie alters perceptions and leads to deep changes in how experts look at finding a solution.”

He said society is so preoccupied with the disease versus change debate that they do not look at what toll addiction is taking on everything from education to juvenile justice.
‘We’ve been stuck on, is addiction a choice or is it a pathology, and frankly it doesn’t really matter,’ he said. ‘We have this huge, giant public health and criminal justice issue, we got to find better solutions.’

For further info about resources for recovery, check out Faces and Voices of Recovery online.

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