By Joi Honer BA, CADC, CCDP, National Alumni Director, Pinnacle Treatment Centers
The Super Bowl victory was sweet for Kansas City this year but victories of recovery were also celebrated in multiple ways this season. Three key figures in this year’s event had been impacted by substance use disorder and have been victorious in different ways.
First, a not so publicly noted recovery story. Leigh Steinberg, the manager for Patrick Mahomes, has had his own challenges with alcoholism and openly celebrates his recovery. The inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire, Leigh is no stranger to comebacks. “Obviously I struggled with alcohol, but next month I will be (celebrating) 10 years continuous sobriety,” he states. “And life is wonderful.”
Andy Reid, the coach for the winning team, has had two sons impacted by substance use disorder. Sadly, Garrett died from an accidental overdose in 2012. His other son, Britt, found his own path of recovery and is now a part of the Kansas City franchise celebrating the win alongside his father.
And finally, Demi Lovato sang a powerful rendition of our national anthem. Her recovery story is not only a demonstration of the value of the life-saving overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan), but her return to recovery after use demonstrates that as long as a person is alive, the hope of recovery is possible.
While we still have a long way to go in advocating for recovery support and against the stigma of substance use disorder, the fact that people can and do talk about recovery out loud tells us that we’ve made progress.
Today we can demonstrate openly that recovery is attainable. These are not exceptions, they are the reality of recovery that millions of people have experienced. There is hope. We do recover. Andy’s story also demonstrates that family members can live and thrive despite the devastating losses that the disease can create. So add the fact that the Chiefs had not won a Super Bowl in 50 years to this season’s story and we have an even bigger reason to celebrate it all and to hope.
Additional reading on each person: