“On any given day, 100 million Americans are taking some stimulant, antidepressant, tranquilizer or painkiller, smoking, inhaling from aerosol cans or glue bottles or self medicating with alcohol or illegal substances like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, hallucinogens, Ecstasy and other designer drugs.”
From “High Society” by Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
Mr. Califano wrote these words in his groundbreaking book, “High Society” ten years ago, and matters have gotten worse over the past decade. Today, drugs have become more powerful, distribution systems more sophisticated and individual communities more vulnerable.
Today, more than half of our families have been touched by drug abuse in some way.
Efforts to curtail the supply of drugs should continue, but we need to focus much more on drying up demand. Prohibition in the 1920’s, a decade-long experiment aimed at eliminating the supply of alcohol was a failure and ended in 1934 when the federal government rescinded the Constitution’s 18th amendment. Recovery should be the focus.
Our focus and product
Our focus at One Day at a Time (ODAT) and in each community we may eventually serve is to reduce levels of the demand for drugs by encouraging the addicted to seek a better life through sobriety.
Our product is a changed human being, a healed addict. And by “healed” we mean someone who has recovered from his or her addictions.
In defining our product, we turned to the late Peter Drucker, perhaps the nation’s most respected author and commentator on business, for inspiration.
Drucker said,“The non-profit institution neither supplies goods or services [like a business] nor controls [like government]. Its product is neither a pair of shoes nor an effective regulation. Its product is a changed human being.
And this is what we, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit company, seek to produce in local communities–changed human beings. And our approach is faith based, 12-step oriented, entrepreneurial and collaborative.
Our method is two-fold and includes both an information component, such as what our website and social media participation currently provide, and, secondly, a treatment component, which will provide a local community organization to plan and supervise treatment for individuals. We call it a “Community Round Table.”
As we envision it, the Roundtable will be made up of people in the community who have the skills, motivation and resources to help those suffering from addictions get proper treatment and become productive citizens in their communities. It is a large undertaking and will take time, but we have begun the preliminary work.
Sobriety is a great product. It lengthens lives, helps restore families, saves money, adds friends and much more.
If you are living sober, your future is much brighter. The odds are that you will keep your job, your family and your friends and be better able to handle adversities that will inevitably intrude. And it’s “one day at a time.” Don’t underestimate the power of that simple phrase.
We have a lot going for us. We Americans tend to be entrepreneurs, impatient with those who tell us we can’t do something. It’s a great motivator for our kind.
Also, among our key resources, there are are two programs—AA and Alanon-that are available in most American cities. They are free, faith-based, and they work. Millions have sobered up because of AA since it was founded 82 years ago.
Individual churches and other Christian organizations like the Salvation Army and Union Rescue mission and the longer term, Teen Challenge, have also responded to the need and are growing in number.
We Americans tend to be entrepreneurs, impatient with those who tell us we can’t do something and eager to give it a shot.
We began our non-profit company, ODAT, over a decade ago with a free 24-page quarterly newspaper, supported by advertising and donations and distributed at its peak to 40,000 readers in the Little Rock area and to many Arkansas prisons. Our goal was to provide information that would help people overcome their addictions.
Six years ago, we discontinued the newspaper, which had become too limited in reach and expensive, and began to focus on developing our website and a presence on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in. We also published a book about recovery “Pathways to Serenity. Overcoming your addictions one day at a time” which is available on Amazon and is being updated.
Over the years we have provided information to local readers through our One day at a time publication and later through this website and have more than a decade of experience providing information about recovery supported by advertising, donations and grants.