Martin Walsh is 46 years of age and a recovering alcoholic who is receiving heaps of support from the recovering addicts of Boston’s community. The community in Boston accounts for around 18,000 admissions to substance abuse programs every year and Martin Walsh estimates that up to one in six Bostonians have been affected directly or indirectly by addiction. He also says that nearly 200 meetings take place every week in Boston between Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and he receives at least 20 calls each week related to addiction from families seeking help.
Walsh has been sober for 18 years and acknowledges that many of his supporters are behind the recovery movement, although he cannot pinpoint exactly how many of them are. Since Martin Walsh announced that he would be running for mayor he has reportedly not reached out to request the political support of those he has helped through recovery. Normally candidates construct a list of people they have helped over the years and contact them for further support. These lists act as sources of donations, door-to-door volunteers and lawn signs.
Asking for help from recovering addicts he has supported would oppose the principle of 12-step programs such as AA so he refuses to do so. However, he does not quite have to reach out to them since a lot of them have already reached out to him first. Martin Walsh insists that he is ready to take on any challenge that presents itself in Boston. He noted that being in recovery will make him a better mayor and gives him an edge every day when he gets up and goes out the door. Many of Walsh’s campaign staff are insisting that he change his cell phone number to one that isn’t so widely known throughout the recovery community but for the time being he will not complete the request.
People who experience the pain of recovery and drug addiction do not easily forget the politicians who have helped them so this can be critical to Walsh’s campaign. The amount of support Walsh receives from recovering addicts can make him stand out in the field of mayoral candidates and he is enjoying having the following back his efforts. One of the campaign volunteers by the name of James Taylor said that at a recent rally 14 of 18 sign holders were in recovery, many of which stumbled across Walsh and received his support.
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Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.