SEEKING AND SHARING ANSWERS: Kelly, left, with Botticelli
“It’s hard to hate up close,” said Michael Botticelli, deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “I am one of the roughly 25 million people in the United States who have stories of addiction to tell.”
Botticelli – who is in long-term recovery from addiction and recently celebrated 25 years of sobriety – was the keynote speaker at a special event to celebrate the launch of the MGH Recovery Research Institute (RRI), under the Department of Psychiatry. The event took place Oct. 30 at the Wyndham Hotel.
John F. Kelly, PhD, director of the RRI, says drug addicts and alcoholics are some of the most stigmatized people in the world. “For the majority of addicts, their problems are not a matter of choice. They are a matter of genetic predisposition and severely compromised brain function. And as such, one of the goals of the RRI is to reduce the stigma surrounding these conditions,” Kelly said. “Another little-known fact is that 60 percent of people with alcohol and drug addiction achieve full remission and recover; so, another goal of the RRI is to instill hope that recovery is possible and, indeed, likely.”
The RRI also aims to conduct high-quality, novel recovery research and to compile this information as a free resource to increase the effectiveness of both treatment and long-term recovery. The institute offers resources to those in recovery and individuals seeking help with addiction, as well as family, friends and clinicians looking for ways to help a loved one. “There are so many questions about addiction and recovery and what works,” said Botticelli. “The RRI is going to help find those answers.”
Jerrold Rosenbaum, MD, chief of the Department of Psychiatry, also spoke at the launch event. “The Recovery Research Institute is a spectacular example of what happens when smart and talented people get together to do the right thing,” said Rosenbaum. “I couldn’t be more proud of John and the leaders of our addiction team. They have realized what was once just a vision.”
For more information about RRI, visit www.recoveryanswers.org.
Read more articles from the 11/08/13 Hotline issue.