Recovery Advocacy in Japan


A vibrant recovery advocacy movement is flourishing in Japan--one among many signs of the spread and maturation of recovery advocacy in country after country.

There is no master mechanism that serves as THE central driver of addiction recovery. There is instead a synergy of influences that combine in unique sequences to initiate and sustain recovery. Such combinations and sequences vary across individuals and cultural contexts.

The propositions that 1) recovery is marked by many well-worn pathways as well as individual journeys outside those pathways, and that 2) all are cause for celebration are central tenets of the international recovery advocacy movement. One of the great joys of my life has been to witness and record these growing varieties of recovery experience around the world.

Among many such visits, my 2007 lecture tour in Japan was a particularly wonderful experience. I will forever remember the graciousness, warmth, and commitment of the recovery advocates I met during my time in Japan. Since then, I have been blessed with regular updates on recovery advocacy activities in Japan. The most visible centerpiece of the Japanese recovery advocacy movement is the hosting of annual recovery parades in numerous Japanese cities. In 2018, more than 1,500 people participated in the parades in nine Japanese cities. Below are images from the recovery parades in Hiroshima, Kansai, Okinawa, Sendai, and Yokohama. These images add to the visual evidence of the worldwide cultural and political mobilization of people in recovery and their families and allies.

Acknowledgement: A special thank you to Yuichiro Horiai for providing the photos from the 2018 recovery parades.