Be nice to drug users.
Rebel Recovery was founded on the simple idea of being nice to drug users. We sought to create an agency that could engage not only individuals in or seeking recovery but those who actively used drugs. Our mission of ensuring common sense drug policy, users rights, and evidence based community programs; through advocacy, education, and community action, stems from our own lived experience with substance use.
For far too long we have allowed racialized drug policy to lead our response to drug use. I believe, that any effective response must respect a person's right to choice, their autonomy, and cultural beliefs. We must value the person first and engage folks in a consistent, respectful, loving manner. We cannot afford to rely on the same systems who would persecute our people to respond when we need help. We need peers not oppressors. As a community we must utilize valuable lived experiences to drive effective change in drug policy.
We have an opportunity as peers to drive community connection and engagement. Through advocacy, education, and linkage to services we can remove the arbitrary barriers that exist in accessing community services. When we start to move away from a system that requires its participants to "prove" how much they want help, we will see and increase in engagement. We aim to create a Florida with on-demand, zero barrier access to services.
As a community we must move from a place of authoritarian punishment based on racialized drug policy, to empathetic love and understanding based on shared experience and person centered practices. We have the tools to end the harms caused by drug use and it is in our communities and in our people. Be excellent to each other.
Executive Director, Rebel Recovery Florida