Recovery’s public profile is on the rise.
Tiffany Hall, Executive Director for anti-alcohol misuse organization Recover Alaska, has noticed people are becoming more open about being in recovery from addiction than they used to be, and many are going on to assume important roles in communities.
“Now, it’s starting to be cool,” Hall said. “It’s beginning to be hip. More and more stars and movie stars are starting to come out as being sober. Folks in recovery often go on to be such integral parts in their community.”
Those stories are also being spotlighted by the second season of “Day 001: Voices of Recovery,” which is now available to stream online. The videos were uploaded near the end of 2018, and Hall said January can be a good time for renewed attention for recovery because it is often on people’s minds.
“I feel like the whole Dry January concept, people are often coming off of a pretty boozy holiday season and looking to come off of that,” Hall said. “Holidays can be a really, really difficult time, especially if people have holiday triggers and alcohol and it’s so dark.”
Dry January is a popular challenge in which people abstain from alcohol for a month.
Sharing stories of recovery is important, Hall said, because recovery stories can prompt someone else to pursue recovery. Hall, who is nine years into her recovery, knows that first-hand.
That’s part of the reason Recover Alaska partnered with Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, a nonprofit Alaska Native and Native American media center, for the “Day 001” series. It shares the stories of Alaskans’ recovery from alcohol misuse and addiction.
Hall was featured in the first season of “Day 001: Voices of Recovery, which was made available to stream online in 2016.
“I definitely can relate to each of the films that we’ve created, whether it’s a lot or a little bit, whether it’s an event that happened or the emotion,” Hall said. “It just makes me so grateful to work on this project and produce these things that I know can be so helpful and life changing. The way I got into recovery was hearing someone else’s story. It wasn’t a video, it was in a meeting, but hearing her story made me realize I had a problem, and if there was another way for her, there’s another way for me.”
While “Day 001” primarily focuses on alcohol, other substance misuse occasionally factors into the stories.
The second season of the series is now available to stream in its entirety online at Day001.org. There are also radio versions of the stories that could be aired in the future, and Hall said Recover Alaska is interested in finding partners for film screenings.
Hall said response has been positive for “Day 001,” and its first season won a regional Emmy.
“With the first series, we weren’t really sure how they would be viewed. If people would like them or if there’d be negative feedback. We put them out, and it turned out people loved them. They were hungry for this conversation. We found that people were writing their personal stories just on the public Facebook page comment section.”
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation provided funding for the first season of “Day 001: Voices of Recovery,” and the second season was funded by Recover Alaska.
Hall said the first season focused entirely on people in recovery who live in Anchorage. The second season expanded its scope. Unalakleet, Cordova and Fairbanks are represented in the new batch of eight episodes.
“Recovery is recovery wherever you are, but life is fairly different in different parts of the state,” Hall said. “The first eight were all filmed in Anchorage, and this time we had a little more budget, and we really want to prioritize filming in different locations.”
While Recover Alaska focuses exclusively on alcohol misuse, and it is the main focus of “Day 001,” Hall said the organization partners with groups who help people with substance misuse.
Hall said she would like to see a third season of “Day 001” happen, and she’d like to include more stories from friends and family of people in recovery.
“If we can find funding for it, then absolutely,” Hall said. “People really like them.”
Need someone to talk to?
Recover Alaska can be contacted at (907)249-6645.
Alcoholics Anonymous of Alaska’s Juneau Intergroup can be called at (907)586-1161.
Juneau Alliance For Mental Heal Inc. Health & Wellness can be called at (907)463-3303 .
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be called at 1-800-662-4357.
• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or email@example.com.