My relationships with White Bison founder Don Coyhis and with the Native American Wellbriety Movement are among the most important influences on my recovery advocacy and recovery research activities. I first met Don in the late 1990s as rumblings of a new addiction recovery advocacy movement in the United States were just beginning. In the(……)

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. –The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy That’s all it takes—pressure and time.—Red (Shawshank Redemption) There is a tradition within many Native American tribes of using ancestral history to inform current decision-making and weighing the potential impact of(……)

The famed historian Barbara Tuchman once observed that the historian’s greatest challenge was capturing the history of the present—or as she put it, history that is “still smoking.” There is much within the worldwide history of addiction recovery that is still smoking, including the: 1) international growth and philosophical diversification of recovery mutual aid organizations,(……)

The rise of an international recovery advocacy movement is, country by country, expanding the physical, psychological, social, and political space in which long-term personal and family recovery can flourish. Earlier posts have highlighted such efforts in Canada, the UK, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and East Africa. Today, we explore recovery(……)

  Ironically, it is at the margins of society that one discovers the moral center. –Van Jones   In a bleeding world, where are the sources of communal healing? When our connecting fabric is shredding under the assault of hateful rhetoric, where do we find common ground—settings where people speak with each other and not(……)

Sally and David Brown published a biography of Marty Mann in 2001 that contained a bombshell. The bombshell was not the public revelation of Marty’s sexual orientation and long-term relationship with Priscilla Peck—a fact long known in AA and recovery advocacy circles. No, the real bombshell was that Marty Mann, the founder of the nation’s(……)

I regularly receive emails and phone calls that poignantly illuminate the stigma and discrimination people can face as they make the journey through addiction to recovery and a life of purpose and meaning. Drug warrior ideologues have employed manipulative rhetoric and caricatured images of people experiencing alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems for political, professional,(……)

Progressive transformations of personal character and relationships are central themes within narratives of addiction and addiction recovery. Entrapment within the self and its eroding effects on personal character are endemic features of addiction. Such entrapment goes by many names (narcissism, selfishness, self-centeredness), all reflecting a reordering of one’s needs and desires that morphs into near-total(……)

In 2012, I experimented with the creation of a recovery knowledge exam (See What is Your Recovery Quotient? Toward Recovery-focused Education of Addiction Professionals and Recovery Support Specialists). The 100-item test was intended to illustrate the training emphasis on drug trends, psychopharmacology, and addiction-related pathologies in marked contrast to the scant attention paid to the(……)