What is addiction? What is an addict? Few people really know the truth. And those that do are often the ones who have experienced it firsthand. In our society, addiction is surrounded by a cloud of misconception, taboo and certain stigmas that prevent real and honest discussion about the topic.
But the fact of the matter is this: addiction is a disease.
It is a disease that is suffered by over 23 million people in the United States alone.
The people who suffer from this disease are often trapped by feelings of shame, guilt, and a lack of control; they experience these feelings so strongly that they are too afraid to seek help. And why would it be any other way? We are in a society that tells addicts that they are criminals. A society that boils addiction down to one simple choice; it is as easy as “just say no.”
This could not be further from the truth. Drug rehab is not full of people who are simply weak, troubled, or burnouts. It is full of people who did not realize the power that a certain substance could have over them. People who have seen their lives fall apart and felt completely isolated and alone as a result of substance abuse. But most important of all, it is full of people who are not weak at all, but strong. They are strong enough to face this disease head on and fight to right their lives. They are strong enough to say “I am an addict, and I am doing something about it.”
The Anonymous People is a feature film that focuses on these people. It seeks to shake off the false ideas and wrong perceptions that follow people who are suffering from addiction. It seeks to find those people who are too afraid to get the help that they need and help them using real and meaningful recovery. Most of all, it seeks to help them to find the one thing that eludes just about everyone who has ever been in the depths of addiction: hope.
What we are realizing more and more is that people do not respond to facts and statistics. You cannot truly reach a human being through a bunch of numbers. The best way to help someone, or even change the perceptions of the people around them, is through other people—with real people and real personal experiences. That is what The Anonymous People seeks to do, and that is what rehab is really about.