Integration and Discrimination

We Recovery & We Advocate

My name is Donald McDonald and I am a person in long-term recovery from addiction, which means I haven’t used alcohol or other drugs to make it through the day in nearly twelve years. As a result, my wife can count on me and my children are proud of me. I got an awesome job as a programs director two weeks before I graduate from the best social work school in the world. I am surrounded by friends and allies, and I have committed my life to service. I got well then I got better than well – I transformed from sociopath to social worker. I’m telling you this because I am not ashamed and I intend to advocate for an end to discrimination against my people.


The Recovery Community was asked to provide written input to The Governor’s Task force and to participate in a panel discussion.



Why I am here:

Thus far, the key players are framing problems with the Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS) around stopping substance “abuse” and diversion and stopping “doctor shopping.” We should find that notion hard to reconcile. We should find it offensive. As we know, over 5,000 North Carolinians have died from prescription opioid overdose since the CSRS was implemented – enough casualties to fill the entire Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh… and the front lawn. These are our family and friends.


Lichtin Plaza (The Lawn):                    273
Kennedy Theater:                                   150
Fletcher Opera Theater:                       600
Maymandi Concert Hall:                    1700
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium:        2227
5,000 Dead North Carolinians


Around half of DEA licensed physicians are registered with the CSRS. Current proposals ask that the number of registered users be “significantly” increased. Compromise…

Would we be in a position of compromising if folks were recommending a partial response to the Zika virus? No. We are in this position because we are recovered drug addicts trying to advocate for dying drug addicts. It’s not stigma. It’s discrimination.


About Donald McDonald

Husband, father, veteran, musician, addiction professional, man in long-term recovery, UNC MSW student, work in progress - I was raised in Asheville, NC and my undergraduate degree is in English Teacher Education from NC State. I am in my third year of the Triangle Distance Education program. My concentration is macro and my mission is to raise the profile of recovery and reduce the barriers to engaging in and sustaining recovery from alcohol and other drug problems.
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