Tim Stoddart is the founder of Sober Nation and New Lyfe Clothing. Sober Nation has been a big help in spreading the word of RISE TOGETHER! It is so awesome to see organization and other community efforts working together to make a bigger difference.
Tim and I have spoken at length about some of the major issues that contribute to the addiction epidemic in our country. We both have a vision of a world where less young people are damaged by addiction and the harmful effects it has.
I caught up with Tim and asked him a couple questions so that you can get to know him better.
Alright, let's do this!
How did you first hear about Rise Together??
That is a good question. I'm not sure if I remember exactly, but I'm almost positive you had emailed me and I am glad you did! I take a lot of guest submissions on my site because I believe in helping other people spread their message. You sent me an email asking if I could publish something for you, and our friendship started there.
I remember having that first conversation with you on the phone and we both just kept feeding off each other because we agreed on a lot of the same issues. You told me all about the awesome work you do in getting in front of students and speaking to them face to face. Obviously I thought that was cool because a lot of my interaction is over the internet. Aside from that one difference I know we had a lot in common.
Why do you think preventative based educational programs like ours are important?
I think they're one of the keys to curving this addiction epidemic. Of course we all know the disease aspect of addiction, but some of these kids get hooked on the drugs simply because they are so physically addictive.
Anyone who has done heroin or any kind of powerful opiate will tell you what it does to your body. Once you get past that point of no return your body is craving the drugs so hard that it's nearly impossible to quit through sheer will alone.
Preventative programs get in front of that. You can't get addicted to illicit substance if you have never tried them. Showing kids the truth behind these drugs is extremely important for that reason alone.
How is Sober Nation showing support for programs like these?
The best thing I can do for these types of programs is spread the word on them. I am very fortunate to have a strong following through Sober Nation and it has always been important to me to spread other ideas aside from my own.
For instance, any time you (Anthony) asked me to share some content or some information I always say yes of course. Getting the word out there about what Rise Together is doing is just as important as anything else.
Eventually I think it would be cool to have a more face to face interaction with these types of programs but at this point the best thing I can do is share this information with the people who follow the site. The more they know, the more they can interact and learn about these programs themselves.
Why is this important for the recovery movement?
I think education is the single most important part of this puzzle.
The truth is that addiction affects everyone. Everyone knows someone or loves someone who struggles with addiction. You can't deny that it is a problem. But the topics still has a stigma or a sense of un-comfortability with it. People don't like talking about it or admitting that they or someone they love is a drug addict.
I think that needs to change. I think people need a wake-up call to know that this is real, this is really happening, and being a drug addict doesn't make you a bad person. It simply means you need help.
Luckily through this movement there are so many people out there who are willing to help, many of them do it out of the kindness of their own heart. That's beautiful.
There are a lot of things on the horizon. I think that the alcohol problem in colleges is something I will start working on soon. There are a lot of schools who are starting to take this problem seriously and I would love to get involved with helping schools put systems together to help their students who have a drinking problem.
Also, I would love to get more into the advocacy side. Since most of what I do is on the internet I miss the opportunity to go out and meet people and speak to people face to face like Rise Together gets to do. Don't get me wrong I love what I do, but I see you guys work and it is so cool how you can touch young people and help them see the truth behind this. You get to help them before it is a real problem. I think that's awesome.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TIM FOR HELPING US MAKE A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER!
And for everyone else out there we thank you so much for all your support. All of us deserve to be heard, loved, and inspired to live in hope. It starts with you. Be the change you want to see!
Head over to Sober Nation's FB Page and show them some love and don't forget to check out our latest article called "Thousand's of Students Found to be at Risk of Addiction" on SN.
Have a awesome day!
President of RT