People in recovery from substance abuse should speak out and give hope to others in similar situations, according to the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Michael Botticelli, speaking at a forum in New Haven, noted 23 million Americans are recovery.
Only about one in nine people with a substance use disorder receive treatment, he said.
Botticelli said stigma and denial about substance abuse are obstacles to treatment, the Associated Press reports.
Botticelli is in long-term recovery from addiction, celebrating more than 24 years of sobriety.
"We know that one of the biggest reasons people don't ask for help is shame and denial," he said. "We need to break that silence. We've done it with other diseases and we can do it with substance use and we can do it with recovery."
As individuals and family members living life in recovery, we have unique needs, opportunities and responsibilities. Since NCADD was founded in 1944 by Marty Mann, the first woman to recover in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), NCADD and our National Network of Affiliates have been privileged to have been the first call and start point of recovery for millions of individuals and family members.
Long-term recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction opens a world of possibilities. It is real, it is happening every day and we estimate that as many as 20 million individuals and family members are living life in recovery! Click here to read NCADD's "A Vision of Hope, Help and Healing"