Ryan Hampton spent nearly a decade addicted to opioids. He also worked for the Clinton White House, had a good family and education. He wasn’t the type of person you might expect to become addicted to drugs.
But what we’ve learned in the past few years is that addiction can affect anyone. It doesn’t matter your race, class, sexuality, background — addiction doesn’t discriminate and if you are wired for it, it’s nearly impossible to escape once it begins.
But Ryan did escape. And he did far more than that — he has built up a powerful movement of recovery advocacy that attempts to remove the stigma and shame associated with addiction, and put a face of humanity back on victims. Only four years sober, Ryan has already written a a critically acclaimed book, “American Fix,” endorsed by President Bill Clinton, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and other well known figures across the political spectrum.
Want to fix the drug problem? You can’t be partisan about it. Thankfully, finally it seems lawmakers across the board are coming together to combat this horrific epidemic — which killed 72,000 in 2017 alone. But, as Ryan shares in today’s episode, talk is cheap and not enough is being done yet. In addition to publishing his book, Ryan has massed a huge following on social media and implemented multiple advocacy programs urging victims and those in recovery to share their stories, vote and demand to be heard. I loved this graphic that Ryan shared:
I was riveted by Ryan’s book and experience. As I mother two young children, I can’t help but worry about how they will navigate this world inhabited by drugs. I’m invested in advocating for better prevention methods, especially, but also for the many other layers involved in solving this crisis. In today’s interview, Ryan explains why addition is a disease, how he thinks we can overcome as a society and addresses some misconceptions even I had.
What we talked about:
- American Fix by Ryan Hampton
- Recovery Voices Vote
- Voices Project
- Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg
- Dreamland by Sam Quinones
Connect with Ryan: