Speech by Paige Namuth 17 September 2006

Sharon Lynn Ellermeier
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Paige Namuth

Antlers Center, Inc.

2501 South Street

Lincoln, NE  68502


Speech given September 17, 2006 at Recovery Walk around the Nebraska State Capitol:


Many, many creative, talented people have been unable to safely use alcohol or drugs.  Who can imagine our culture without the stellar uniqueness of Elvis Presley, John Belushi , Jim Morrison or Judy Garland?   The problem occurs when an all encompassing craving starts, our bodies manufacture pain and obsession ensues.  This is known to be genetically linked.  The addicted family suffers from a fatal illness. 


In an address in 1842, Abraham Lincoln stated that addiction is as if an angel of death targets the fairest born of every family, sucking the blood of genius and generosity. 


Unfortunately, in the spirit of the old reformers of 1842, the position was taken that all addicts are incorrigible.  Family programs collapsed and many treatment centers closed.  The centers that stayed open took year long waiting lists.  Addicts were sent away for mandated sentences and bureaucrats spent 25 years on “strategic planning for a “war on drugs” that drugs won like a rampant forest fire.


Scientists have isolated the gene that carries the addiction trait and make plans to eliminate its source. In our haste for a fix, we lose sight of our limitations. What if the gene that carries our addiction also carries our creativity? 


In a spiritless world of sameness we will have lose our humanity, passion and the future creators of our culture.  In a game of rock, paper and scissors, a spirit of love, community and hope CAN beat addiction.  Our vision is a community that embraces recovery from addiction as a positive, healing force.