Members of Recovery For Shore, a newly-formed planning and advocacy group, at recent meeting regarding the film screening of The Anonymous People. Shown are, front row, Sharon Dundon, Tracie Nolan, Kathy Norman, and Bonnie Ball-Doerfler; back row, Gary Pearce, Caroline George, Keith Richardson, Paula Lowery, Emily Joiner, and Charles Roe. ( A complete list of the group members appears at the end of the article.)
“The Anonymous People,” a much-heralded documentary film about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery and the emerging public recovery movement, will be shown at The Avalon Theater in Easton on the evening of Wednesday, February 26, Sharon Dundon, CAC-AD, addictions specialist, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, has announced.
Dundon is the organizer of a newly-formed advocacy and planning group, “Recovery for Shore,” which includes representatives from a variety of Mid-Shore social service, health, mental health, business and nonprofit organizations, as well as concerned citizens. With the goal of promoting public awareness and support for recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction, bringing this landmark film to the Mid-Shore region is Recovery for Shore’s first initiative.
According to Dundon, “The Anonymous People” features interviews with more than 30 people who are among the millions in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and who made the courageous decision to speak publicly. The film questions why the U.S. has criminalized and given superficial treatment to a chronic illness that has an annual price tag of $350 billion.
“The Anonymous People” also features prominent people who have declined or given up anonymity to “go public” about their successful lives in long-term recovery. Appearing in the film are an award-winning actress, a former NBA star, a former Miss USA, a veteran news anchor, a former member of the U.S Congress and many others. These individuals and others have “come out” to help counter prevailing negative public attitudes toward the process of recovery and individuals engaged in it.
“The Anonymous People” aims to transform public discourse in the same way honest, open discussion about topics such as breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, and being gay helped spark widespread change in public perception about those issues. The film addresses the question, “Why don’t we treat addiction in this country like any other health issue?”
Says Dundon, “Because this film focuses not on the horrors of addiction, but on the true potential and benefits of recovery, we see the screening at The Avalon as an exciting opportunity to get people in our community to begin thinking differently. Many people in our communities lead productive, successful lives in recovery. We believe that this film will help share that reality with our Mid-Shore friends, neighbors, elected representatives and civic leaders. Increasing understanding and changing perceptions – these are first steps toward strengthening support for recovery programs.”
Admission to the film is free but due to limited seating, advance ticketing is highly recommended. Free tickets may be obtained online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-anonymous-people-building-a-recovery-movement-tickets-10189405787; Facebook users may also visit the Recovery for Shore page and follow links for tickets. The movie trailer may be viewed online at http://www.theanonymouspeople.com.
Doors to The Avalon will open at 6:30 p.m. and the screening begins at 7 p.m. Complementary refreshments will be served.
“The Anonymous People” screening is sponsored by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Recovery for Shore, Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, Talbot County Prevention Program, Mid-Shore Mental Health, Talbot County Department of Social Services, Rise Up Coffee, Washington Street Pub, and Warwick Manor.
“Recovery for Shore” Advocacy and Planning Group Members
Chase Brexton: Anne Marie Cox
Chesapeake Voyagers: Doug Kirby, Diane Lane
Community Organizer: Carolyn Jaffe
Dorchester Recovery Initiative: John Winslow
Mental Health Association of Talbot County: Jackie Davis
Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems: Kathy Stevenson
Queen Anne’s County Health Department: Gary Fry
Talbot County Department of Social Services: Emily Joiner
Talbot County Health Department: Neil Edwards, Paula Lowry, Kathy Norman, Charles Roe
Talbot County Office of Community Supervision: Bonnie Ball-Doerfler, Caroline George
Talbot County Problem Solving Program: Julian Markham, Kelly Reynolds
Talbot Partnership for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse: Gary Pearce
Talbot County Student Learning Intern: Alexandra Dundon
UM Shore Regional Health: Sharon Dundon, Lisa Flynn, Kate Gallagher, Tracie Nolan, Julie Stevenson, Jaclyn Weston
Warwick Manor: Keith Richardson