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Thursday, August 8 • 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Breaking the Stigma: Q&A

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Addicts face a multitude of stigmas, of which, during his 11 years of sobriety, Tony Hoffman has continued to experience.  The goal of this presentation is to discuss how to eliminate stigmatic barriers beginning with early childhood through the dark years of addiction, and specific to him, followed by many years in recovery. He speaks of his early teenage struggles with mental health which he considers as a key player in his active years of substance use. He truly believes that every addict has experienced a certain level of trauma or mental health issues that contribute to his/her substance use. Also, he feels that society’s lack of acknowledgment and empathy for addiction issues create a struggle in effectively helping the addict. If there is one thing Tony makes sure the audience understands, it is that addiction is beyond a choice. Listeners will get a raw, in-depth look from the addict’s state of mind. His doorway analogy that depicts the struggle of returning once you enter, resonates with all of the audiences who take part. The biggest stigmas Tony faced were not so much during his active use but occurred when he began to dream of something more for his life, something big, and without substances. The judicial system, employers, community members and internet commenters have all confronted Tony and judged him based on these stigmas, the same stigmas that made it hard for Tony’s parents to seek help and/or understand it was okay to have a child struggling with addiction. Tony has beaten the odds one day at a time and dedicated his life to bringing hope that recovery is possible and how critical it is to break down the stigmas, thus shifting our thinking about addiction.


Thursday August 8, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm EDT
Room 121 476 Hubbard Drive Lancaster, SC 29720