As a peer in recovery one of the most powerful impacts you can have in your community is through advocacy. Members of the state legislature can’t possibly know everything and in some cases they are unaware of things that can make a big difference in the policy choices they make when creating laws.

When talking about mental health there are many professionals in the field that testify and while the information they provide is useful it often paints an incomplete picture. The rest is filled in by people like us, we are the people using the services the state provided through the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. We can directly identify how these services are effecting our lives and give a real sense of how well tax dollars are being used.

Advocacy also means raising awareness about issues that are important to you and your community, peers often engage the media to express their views and concerns about topics being discussed in the news. Katy was interviewed by WNPR on Monday November 13, 2017 while at the Connecticut Legislative Office Building.

A hearing and informational forum was held by the Public Health Committee regarding allegations of patient abuse at the Whiting Forensic Division of the Connecticut Valley Hospital.

Katy Curtis and Jeffrey Santo of Ripple were two of the twenty-nine people to offer testimony. We became part of the nearly nine hours of recorded video by CT-N (Connecticut Network). Currently CT-N provides television and webcast coverage of Connecticut state government in order to educate the public.

We would like to thank the Keep the Promise Coalition for sharing the tools needed for effective communication. They offer training's on Legislative Advocacy which are not only a wealth of information about the inner workings of legislative process but also discusses how to collect, organize, refine and then convey your thoughts. The overall tone of this article was directly influenced by these training sessions.

I have never liked the term “War on Drugs” because a drug is an inanimate object; I prefer to look at it more as a war on drug trafficking. People who live with addiction are not the enemy and we should not be waging a war with people who need our help. There are two sides to this problem, the supply of drugs and where they come from is one. The other is addiction and the stigma associated with the lifestyle and behavior of an addict. I want to address the addiction side of this issue. Continue reading…

This article was written and submitted to our local news outlet. On September 3, 2018 it was published in The Hour newspaper, The Wilton Villager newspaper and online at It was written as a response to a 24 hour period in New Haven Connecticut where 114 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana known as K2 or Spice. This piece was thoughtfully put together and hoped to offer an often overlooked resource in our community to help others battle their addiction, peers in recovery.

Comments are closed.