Today, in recognition of National Recovery Month, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), hosted the White House Recovery Month Summit to celebrate people in recovery and advance the President’s Unity Agenda. The Summit also featured Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Representative David Trone, Representative Madeleine Dean, people in recovery from substance use disorder, and the creative team behind the Hulu series Dopesick.
The day began with the Second Gentleman and Dr. Gupta meeting with recovery advocates on the Mobilize Recovery bus, which was parked outside the White House. They, along with White House staff, wrote messages of encouragement on the bus for people in recovery or on the path to recovery.
At the Summit, Dr. Gupta announced the Biden-Harris Administration’s latest actions to beat the overdose epidemic and support people on their recovery journeys. These included delivering more than $1.5 billion to address addiction and the overdose epidemic; $12 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program’s efforts to reduce violence, target illicit finance, prevent substance use, and reduce overdoses; new guidance from the Food and Drug Administration to help reduce barriers to obtaining access to naloxone; and sanctions against those involved with drug trafficking, including the Sinaloa and CJNG cartels.
Second Gentleman Emhoff voiced his strong support for people in recovery, and reaffirmed that this is a top priority for the Administration, starting with President Biden and Vice President Harris. Secretary Walsh spoke about his own path to recovery and announced the Department of Labor’s new online resource to help employers create recovery-ready workplaces for the millions of Americans in recovery. Assistant Secretary Delphin-Rittmon spoke about the new funding from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration’s strong commitment to supporting recovery. Representative David Trone spoke about initiatives in Congress to support treatment and recovery from substance use disorder, and Representative Dean spoke about her son’s recovery as an inspiration behind her work in Congress.
The event featured two panels. During the first panel, Ryan Hampton, Carol McDaid, Phil Rutherford, Tiffinee Scott and Dorothy West shared their personal stories of recovery and the importance of recovery supports, including housing, employment, access to care, and more. The second panel was moderated by recovery advocate and artist Joseph Green and featured the creative team behind Dopesick, including Dr. Stephen Loyd, a physician who served as inspiration for the lead character in the series, reporter and author Beth Macy, and executive producer Danny Strong. The panelists spoke about telling stories about addiction and recovery that are authentic and can inspire people to action.