With the arrival of April, families and communities across the country begin to enjoy the warmth and renewal of life that marks the spring season. Here in Southern California this April marks a special commemoration of renewal and hope at the Betty Ford Center (BFC), part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of its lecture series, Alcohol and Other Drugs Awareness Hour.
The lecture series culminates on April 9 with a presentation by BFC Children’s Program Director Jerry Moe entitled, “The Joy of Recovery…for Kids of All Ages.” In alignment with its mission of educating the community about the disease of alcoholism and addiction with an emphasis on treatment and recovery, BFC offers this lecture series to the public for free — and invites communities across the nation to join in embracing and supporting wellness and recovery by watching the program live online.
“Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is a family disease, a community disease, and a deadly disease,” said Jerry Moe, “and because it is characterized by silence, secrecy, and shame, it’s a disease of isolation that everyone suffers together, but alone. Equally, when people are in recovery, it’s often anonymous so the general public never gets a true sense of how many people are well, how many people have turned their lives around, and how many people come to experience the joy and hope that is inherent in recovery.”
The anniversary coincides with the 30th annual April celebration of Alcohol Awareness Month, which was founded and is sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
According to NCADD, while the disease of addiction remains our nation’s primary health problem, much less prevalent is the knowledge that currently 20 million individuals and their family members who have suffered from the disease are successfully experiencing life in recovery. This month, NCADD has planned local, state, and national events to educate people about prevention, treatment, and hope.
At the core of both celebrations is the firm belief that raising awareness can lead to increasing acceptance — and that from acceptance we will come to recognize that recovery is a process to be supported and embraced for the health of our families, local communities, and nation.
Betty Ford Center’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Awareness Hour
The Joy of Recovery for Kids of All Ages
When: 9-11 a.m. Saturday, April 9, 2016,
Phone: (760) 773-4326
Address: Annenberg Center for Health Services, Eisenhower Medical Center
39000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Watch it live online:HazeldenBettyFord.org/advocacy/Live-Events
“Chances are in any community, whether or not you have been directly impacted by the disease of addiction, you know someone who is,” explained Moe. “But it’s quite possible that you might not know the person who is the addict or alcoholic, because it takes people to stand up and talk about the disease and about getting better. So the joy of recovery for alcoholics and addicts is about putting many faces and many voices together to speak that message and spread the good news that you can recover what has been lost.”
The team at BFC encourages everyone to take this call to action by attending the event or watching the livestream video.
“I would encourage all members of the community, regardless of how they have or have not been affected by the disease of addiction, to join in hearing and spreading this message of hope,” said Moe. “It’s an opportunity for each of us to have the awareness and knowledge that might get someone the support and love that everyone deserves.”