This is the third in a series of email interviews related to addiction. Today’s interview highlights Steps 4 Recovery [dot] Org, an online resource for addiction information.
Please let the readers know about Steps for Recovery. What do you do? What is your purpose?
For 18 years Steps was a publication in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The paper focused on addiction recovery. When the newspaper became financially troubled I was asked to jump in and I ran the paper for four years. The economics of a print publication have been changing over the past number of years and I elected to cease publishing the print version of the paper. Now the paper is available online only. I recently bumped into an old friend that followed the paper with great interest. He asked me if I would begin posting the archives of the newspaper and I told him that I would do it. I have been posting those archives along with submissions we had received while I was working at the paper. I have 18 years of archives.
What led to your interest in working to eradicate and educate about addiction?
Four years spent in this space along with a lifetime of dealing with family members who are addicts led me to a severe dislike of addiction of any kind. I am not an addict myself but have all of the classic Al-Anon symptoms. I was able to break the cycle with my two kids and they are both very fine young men leading happy and productive lives.
Are you both a print and online publication?
Sadly the economics of a print publication have changed. If there were built-in delivery mechanisms it would still be economically feasible. The one thing that we know about addicts is that when they hit their rock bottom they probably will not have access to a computer. However, there are plenty of computers at computers stores and the library where they can access information.
Where do your stories come from?
As I said we have 18 years of archives that should create a solid knowledge base when uploaded.
Since this is a non-profit, do you have a day job?
I am currently in post-production on a small movie. More details when we get ready for publicity. What I have seen so far is very encouraging. I am a struggling artist, like yourself, that is hopeful for the future.
What results have you seen due to your efforts?
I have received many “thank you’s” from people that have benefitted from the information we have provided.
From your website, it looks like you were trying to create a PSA campaign to help eradicate addiction.
Where is this project now?
We had high hopes to launch a PSA campaign. Unfortunately addiction is one of those areas few people want to fund. They will put money out by the wheelbarrow full for kids or animals but our society wants to simply turn a blind eye to addiction.
How can others contribute to your projects/movement/cause?
There are many good causes out there. I would suggest that you focus on small efforts as they have the most impact. There was a grassroots effort to take eyeglasses to Sri Lanka. In that case many people were gathering used glasses from friends and family to take over to the island nation. I lost touch with the effort but a few dollars and lots of effort certainly makes more sense than donating to the Red Cross. The impact that a few people can have is so much superior to what the big NGO’s do as most of the donor money ends up in the hands of administrators.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Sometimes there are impossible situations. We all feel like there is no possible resolution and somehow God finds a way. We may not see it. We may not understand it. In fact, it may seem unconventional. Like the walls of Jericho, who could have imagined that circling a city for seven days and seven times on the last day and then shouting would have seen the walls come tumbling down. In my life I have found that every misunderstanding is simply paving the way for an even deeper understanding. People struggling with tough times because of addiction, poor choices, or a myriad of other reasons can turn to God and get the help they need to see a miracle. That impossible situation may not be solved in a day, week or even a year but sooner or later anyone that works hard and trusts in the higher power will the walls come tumbling down. Though I am not an addict I am dedicated to provide resources to those that struggle. I will not have all of the archives up over night but perhaps those articles that I post will help people around the world that are struggling with difficulty.
Thank you, Steps 4 Recovery, for sharing a bit about you and the guy that runs you.
Steps 4 Recovery’s website is www.steps4recovery.org.