‘Please think about this. I would love to see all seven of my brothers and sisters wearing these at my funeral.’
At the time that Daniel Zorn shared a Facebook post from The Treatment Centre about our #NoMoreShame bracelets, it received the response that most social media shares get: It went largely unnoticed. But three years later, when family members rediscovered the post after Daniel passed away, they decided to honour his request and wear #NoMoreShame bracelets to his recent memorial service.
‘No More Shame’ is a movement to break the stigma of addiction and help struggling individuals, and their loved ones understand that addiction is an illness, not a choice. By removing the stigma surrounding addiction, we hope to empower those who suffer from addiction – and their families – to openly seek help and know that recovery is possible.
Defying the addiction stereotype
Daniel’s family described him as: ‘a smart, funny, scrappy kid with a combination of charisma and a wicked sense of adventure.’ They also said he was someone to whom kindness came easily, who was driven by fairness and wanting to do right by others. Whether at work as a lifeguard, at a family gathering, or volunteering in the community, Daniel readily offered his friendship and treated people with dignity and respect.
He came from a loving home with six siblings. His father was his hero. He loved the outdoors and would often go camping, to the beach, or having holidays in Florida. He was a voracious reader and loved to cook, especially for others. At the age of 44 he became a proud father.
And yet, despite all that he had going for him in life, Daniel was also plagued by addiction. For years, he waged an on-and-off war with his addiction. His family cherished the times he was sober, and when he wasn’t, they suffered along with him as they watched his illness steal away the person they loved.
Reframing addiction as an illness
Society often relegates drug users to the fringes of society, with the assumption that they’re degenerates on a hopeless, downward spiral of self-destruction. And though the effects of addiction can certainly be severe and life-altering, families like Daniel Zorn’s believe that it’s time to remove the shame that surrounds the disease.
After all, no one blames a blind person for being blind, or a cancer patient for having cancer. And yet it is common to blame long-term drug users for being addicted.
The Treatment Centre created the #NoMoreShame movement to bring awareness to this misconception, in order to free individuals and their families from the stigma of shame and fear that keep people from seeking help.
Restore hope and save a life
For the family of Daniel Zorn, wearing the #NoMoreShame wristbands was not only a way to honour the wishes of their loved one, it was also a way to spread the word to other families who know all too well the anguish of watching a family member lose the battle with addiction. Wearing the bracelets is a way to extend a positive legacy for Daniel long past his death.
‘It took us many years to understand that Danny’s addiction was not a choice: It was a battle he faced every day,’ said Daniel’s sister, Bridget.
The hope that others might come to this realisation more quickly is what fuels friends and family to continue to wear the bracelets and share the #NoMoreShame message.
You can help spread the word, end the shame, and restore hope for recovery: Get your free #NoMoreShame bracelet.