Private Grief to Public Advocacy


The past decade has witnessed the mass mobilization of people in addiction recovery in the U.S. More than 100,000 people in recovery and their families, friends and allies marched in public recovery celebration events last September--something only a few years ago I could not have imagined happening in my lifetime. People in recovery and their family members are leading what is rapidly becoming an international recovery advocacy movement, but there are faces and voices notably absent from the frontlines of this movement: the families who experienced death of a loved one from addiction before recovery was achieved. These family members are now seeking each other out for mutual support and are adding their voices to calls for enhanced access and quality of addiction treatment and recovery support services in local communities. I want to tell you about one such voice.

Jim Contopulos, channeled his grief over the loss of his son Nick into a powerful new film entitled, Beautiful Boy.....More than an Addict. The film and an interview with Jim will soon be posted on this web site, but in the meantime, I encourage everyone to view this film at Beautiful Boy...More than an Addict may well signal the awakening of grieving family members as a new force for recovery advocacy. We offer them our warmest welcome into the heart of this movement.