NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter is leading a new movement to end the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction, which is helping to save lives by through getting more people struggling with substance abuse into recovery.
Ambrosia Treatment Center, a nationwide substance abuse facility with locations in Port St. Lucie, Singer Island, and West Palm Beach, has partnered with Carter, the Hall of Fame wide receiver, to launch the “We Do Recover” movement.
“We Do Recover” aims to help the 24 million Americans struggling with drugs or alcohol, when only 10 percent of them – 2 million people – actively seek treatment.
According to a news release, to end the stigma surrounding addiction and addiction treatment, the movement will address the issue on several fronts, including:
– Promoting stories of hope to spread inspirational proof that addicts can recover and lead successful, full lives.
– Providing $500 college scholarships to eligible recipients in recovery or loved ones affected by addiction.
– Having influencers like Carter tell their recovery stories through comprehensive programs directed to specific audiences, including corporations and hospitals.
– Hosting public monthly fellowship events for those in recovery, as well as their loved ones, to ensure support and build community.
– Offering materials, helplines and monetary donations to well-aligned advocacy groups that educate community-by-community.
– Collaborating with other prestigious organizations to produce excellent research, with the goal of benchmarking the stigma and improving treatment effectiveness.
“It’s already hard fighting the physical and mental dependency of addiction and, as a society, we put up yet another barrier to getting help – the social stigma that surrounds addiction and addiction treatment,” Carter said in a statement. “With 24 million Americans struggling with drugs or alcohol, but only 2 million seeking treatment, I have partnered with Ambrosia to launch the ‘We Do Recover’ movement because this is a life or death issue. It’s paramount that we break through this barrier and eliminate the stigma of addiction by educating the public on the fact that addiction is a disease, as well as encourage those who are suffering to enter treatment, because, in recovery, we can do incredible things, including leading a successful, full life.”
As an NFL player, Carter struggled with addiction early in his career, crediting recovery for allowing him to achieve his greatest accomplishments. Drafted out of Ohio State University in 1987 by the Philadelphia Eagles, Carter went on to a stellar 16-year NFL career, including 12 years with the Minnesota Vikings.
Carter appeared in eight consecutive Pro Bowls, becoming the second player in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes. Carter ranks second on the NFL’s all-time list for total receptions and receiving touchdowns. He was named to the All-Decade Team (1990) by the Pro-Football-Hall-of-Fame Selection Committee and received the 1999 NFL Man of the Year award.
Carter says – with absolute certainty – he would never have achieved his success without sobriety.
“We are thrilled to be launching the ‘We Do Recover’ movement today with the support of Football Hall of Fame Legend Cris Carter,” said Ambrosia founder and CEO Jerry Haffey. “It is a moral imperative that we end the social stigma of addiction and demonstrate that it is a disease that should be treated, not the failure of an individual that should be ignored or swept under the rug.”
Haffey says the goal of ‘We Do Recover’ is to build an active community of treatment advocates, who will promote a healthy conversation about addiction and addiction treatment as well as partner with prestigious organizations to build on current research to improve treatment effectiveness.
“Together, we can end the stigma surrounding addiction,” Haffey said. “And help more people live healthy, happy lives in recovery.”
Before founding ambrosia, Haffey worked registered nurse in his native Philadelphia, where he experienced firsthand how illicit substances were grabbing hold of patients, succumbing to the exhaustive fight of addiction. Haffey relocated to South Florida and opened a small business to fight the crisis head-on.
Today, Haffey’s enterprise has transformed into a nationwide alcohol and drug rehabilitation refuge, awarding free scholarships to nearly 500 suffering addicts. Starting with 10 employees and 20 beds, Ambrosia Treatment Center now has grown to five locations in multiple states and over 225 employees.
In August 2016, Haffey received the Humanitarian Award from the Harold and Carole Pump Foundation for his work in the health care field.