The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has launched the Institute for Recovery Advocacy to educate the public and policymakers about recovery issues and facilitate conversation among individuals in recovery.
"Our primary goal is to spark conversation and provide a leading national voice -- not just for our organization, but for all those affected by addiction, including people in recovery, those needing help, friends and family members, colleagues, employers and policymakers," said Nick Motu, Vice President of the Institute, in the announcement.
The new institute will focus this year on promoting solutions to the national crisis involving opioids, the class of drugs that includes heroin and prescription pain medications. Other issues of concern to the Institute include the risks of marijuana legalization, the forgotten drug of alcohol, criminal justice reform, access to treatment and reducing stigma.
The institute host two national symposiums in 2015, including one June 10 on Capitol Hill to discuss the prevention of opioid deaths among college-age Americans. The new website, supported by social media, will provide news, commentary, educational information, recovery stories and opportunities to share opinions and take action on policy. One proposal the organization is tracking is the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015, which would provide federal funding for recovery services.