During the 1980s, public speakers around the world and their speechwriters began to see the benefit in leveraging the language of recovery. Substance abuse was coming out of the closet. At places like the Hazelden Foundation and the "rooms" of Alcoholics Anonymous, those addicted to booze, drugs, and food were adopting a new vocabulary. That lexicon included:
Surrender Lose to Win Turning It Over Trusting the Group Higher Power Making Amends Healing Experience, Strength, and Hope Taking an Inventory of Character Defects
The concepts resonated with audiences. After all, the idea of surrendering was novel. I recall using some of that language with speeches I wrote for the executives at Weight Watchers.
Now the mindsets, phrases, and words could have a second wind. USA TODAY reports that Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center are merging. If the deal is approved by regulators, then the merged entity will be having more outpatient treatment. That means more of the estimated 23 million addicts will have access to recovery. Only about 10% go for treatment today.
Therefore, we speechwriters should begin thinking about how we can present recovery concepts in fresh ways.