The Heroism of Recovery

Michael Shellenberger

Investigator Michael Shellenberger April 12th 3 pm

Addiction Conference
Michael Shellenberger

The Heroism of Recovery

Since 2000, harm reduction advocates have argued that their approach saves lives. But during that time, drug deaths rose from 17,000 to 100,000 deaths, in the U.S. alone. Harm reduction no doubt plays an important role through needle exchange and opioid replacement therapy. But the goal of addiction treatment should be recovery, as it is Portugal, the Netherlands, and other pioneers in drug treatment. In this talk, Michael Shellenberger, the best-selling author of San Fransicko will describe why he views those who have recovered from addiction as heroes who offer great insights into the human condition that are of value to all of us, whether or not we have suffered from addiction. Shellenberger will make the case for why we need an international “Voices and Stories of Recovery” public education campaign to counter the drug addiction and drug death epidemic that is sweeping the globe.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn the contributions and limits of harm reduction
  2. Learn why addiction recovery offers individual and societal benefits harm reduction cannot offer.
  3. Learn how an international pro-recovery campaign could save millions of lives.


Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress.

He is the best-selling author of the critically-acclaimed books San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities (HarperCollins 2021) and Apocalypse Never (HarperCollins 2020).

He advises policymakers around the world including in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium