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Boston Mayoral Candidate Proposes Recovery Services Office to Treat Addiction


Photo courtesy of David Parsons

There are many problems politicians hope to fix when running for office; candidates in all levels of politics hope to make changes that will help solve societal woes. These “fixes” can range from mental health to public transportation and everywhere in between; but we don’t often see candidates harp on the growing problem of substance addiction in our country. That is, except for Martin Walsh, a mayoral candidate in Boston, who is seeking to make it easier for alcoholics and addicts to receive the help they need; he proposes forming an Office of Recovery Services devoted to helping those in need to navigate the system and get treatment (Ryan).

For Walsh, this is not only a political move but a very personal quest. Walsh is a recovering alcoholic with 18 years of sobriety, and so it is safe to assume he understands the critical role the first steps toward recovery can play for those who suffer from addiction (Martin Walsh: Recovery Values Translate into Political Life). Boston is a city that is familiar with the of addiction and alcoholism – roughly 18,000 people from Boston enter treatment programs annually and there are upwards of 200 weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous (Kim).

Walsh’s proposed office, the Office of Recovery Services, would be devoted to helping addicts and alcoholics get the help they need to recover from the disease of addiction. For example, the office would help find a spot in a detox center for those seeking to take their first steps into sobriety. It would also provide addicts and alcoholics with a 24-hour referral line. The proposed Office of Recovery Services would alsoplay a role in advocating for more available treatment options, while working to improve the ones that already exist (Ryan). This proposal was born when Walsh’s team recognized that, given the widespread nature of addiction in Boston, there was a serious shortage of available detox beds.. They also noted that navigating the current help system can be overwhelming and difficult for addicts and their families, in times when they desperately need guidance.

As the Boston mayoral candidate notes, “Government is about serving people. This is one very personal way I can do that,” (Ryan). Government officials are elected to not both represent and protect the rights of the citizens making up their county, town, city, state, or country. Walsh’s proposed Office of Recovery Services would be a huge act of service to those who really need it the most. Addiction can take people to despairing places – like ***jails, hospitals, homeless on the street, or in the worst case, death. This office could not only save lives, but could really help addicts and alcoholics get back on their feet to become successful, productive members of society, which benefits the city that they live in as well as their personal lives. Walsh’s goal to provide help speaks not only to his commitment to the city, but of his commitment to spiritual principles, namely service.

Martin Walsh has had a very personal struggle with alcoholism, and the potential mayor of Boston is a prime example of how an alcoholic/addict can positively turn his or her life around; of living a life of recovery and helping others wherever possible. His Office of Recovery Services could really help to change and save lives, and what’s more important than that? Whatever the outcome of the mayoral elections may be, it is imperative that Boston, and our nation as a whole, take this step toward providing more efficient and accessible treatment options for the countless people who suffer from addiction every day.


Works Cited

Kim, Victoria. “Recovering Addicts Back Boston Mayoral Candidate.” 19 July 2013. The Fix. Web. 24 July 2013.

“Martin Walsh: Recovery Values Translate into Political Life.” 21 July 2013. Synergy Group Services. Web. 24 July 2013.

Ryan, Andrew. “Martin Walsh proposes city office to help combat addiction.” 22 July 2013. Web. 24 July 2013.


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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Recovery, Substance Abuse, Treatment · Tags: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Boston, election, Martin Walsh, Mayor, Recovery, Treatment is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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