Blog and Updates

Learn more about our work to transform how our communities deal with the disease of addiction. 

At the start of 2004, a series of events began to occur, which would eventually contribute to the most significant alteration to my life in its present form and ultimately to its future form. What I’ve learned over the last 10 years and have used as a young(ish) leader is that there are many similarities between how one must address adversity in our life and how leaders must act when directing an organization or engaging in another form of leading.

Our current health care system is actually a sick care system. We wait until we're sick and need to see a doctor before we go in. We need to demand that the health care system actually becomes a health care system and not just a sick care system. Our lives depend on it. And we deserve the best resources to take care of ourselves.

We're pleased to welcome two students who will be working with us this summer. The students are participating in RISE-UP (Research Initiatives for Students), which provides public health training opportunities for undergraduate students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, to encourage and support the pursuit of graduate degrees.

I am excited to become more aware of the stigmas in society and how we can work to change these. I hope to learn how to engage a community on a larger scale than just convincing them of doing what is right. From my time here so far, I can tell that Face It TOGETHER is an organization focused on building awareness of addiction, educating people about the disease of addiction, reducing the stigmas surrounding addiction, and building up the community to promote recovery.

My son will turn 22 years old this summer. I thought I was past all of the feelings associated with that time. Until I heard the name of the judge my son spent too much time in front of. All of the feelings of frustration with the system, with my son’s disease, with the lack of recovery support, with the lack of direction came flooding back with intense force.

We’re doing things differently here. There is no best practices manual to follow. Your Executive Director must be willing to adapt to a changing landscape.  He or she must be able to work with everyone—addiction doesn’t discriminate.  Your ED needs to be as comfortable visiting with a CEO as someone who’s couch surfing and is a step away from the shelter. 

Maybe instead of bickering back and forth over a set of treatments and support groups that have been around and used for 70 plus years, we own our place in the 21st century and develop care based on the best science, medicine, and technology have to offer.

Although medicine and science have understood addiction as a chronic, progressive, but treatable brain disease, social norms have done something far worse than maintain the status quo … social norms have actually propped up failed treatment systems on dismal or elusive outcomes.