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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.”


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