YPR’s VP of Programs, Hugh Guill recently sat down with us for a conversation about recovery and how his passion for advocacy drives his work with the team.

Read Hugh’s bio here.

1. How did your passion for recovery develop?

My passion for recovery developed as my personal recovery developed. The more I came to understand that the recovery process was helping me process and overcome the reasons why I turned to using substances, the more I realized that recovery is a beautiful process that I wished everyone (whether suffering from SUD or not) could have the opportunity to experience.

2. What’s your favorite part of working with the team at YPR?

My favorite part about working with the YPR team is when I get to see their hard work yield quantifiable results. If there is no data to support our efforts, then for all intents and purposes, our efforts did not accomplish anything. I think specifically about the data that our Program Managers in Kentucky, Texas, and Colorado are generating; in addition to the data generated by our Regional Chapter Coordinator team and the chapters they support.

3. Why do you think it’s important to make our communities “recovery-ready”?

While I appreciate the discussion around, and national attention given to, opiate use disorder, history has shown that there is a new drug of choice every generation or so.  Given this trend, I believe communities must be made “recovery-ready” in order to not only be prepared for all substances in existence today, but also those that will come into existence in the future.

4. Are there any areas of personal or professional development you’re currently working on?

I always prefer to be in total control of situations. Imagine that: a person in recovery that struggles with control issues! As a result, I am working on empowering my team to generate solutions as opposed to me prescribing solutions for them. As great leaders of companies have articulated in the past, “my goal is not to hire great people so that I can tell them what to do, my goal is to hire great people so that they can tell me what they are going to do.”

5. If you had any advice for emerging leaders in the recovery advocacy movement, what would it be?

Unfocused and disorganized action will not move the needle. To me, what separates successful social movements from unsuccessful movements is focus and organization.  Enthusiasm is key, but unless that enthusiasm can be harnessed to accomplish specific objectives, no lasting change will occur. I look forward to working with the YPR to roll out our specific 2018 advocacy objectives, and to see what we all can do with them!

YPR works to cultivate leaders among people in recovery and their allies to make their communities #recoveryready through advocacy and delivering direct recovery support in those communities. We need your help!

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