South O’ the Highway

Freedom Institute Honors Alec Baldwin for Addiction and Recovery Work

Amagansett actor and author Alec Baldwin will be honored at the Freedom Institute annual Spring Gala Wednesday night, April 18 at the Mandarin Oriental in NYC. The non-profit outpatient recovery center, which prevents and treats substance abuse and addiction, is paying tribute to individuals who have had a significant impact on the field of substance abuse prevention and treatment.

Baldwin, who shared his own experiences with substance abuse and recovery in his memoir, Nevertheless, will receive the Freedom Institute’s 2018 Mona Mansell Award for his unwavering commitment to the recovery field. Past honorees include First Lady Betty Ford; Peter Steinglass, Director and President Emeritus of the Ackerman Institute for Families; Tian Dayton, author of Emotional Sobriety and The ACOA Trauma Syndrome; and Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation.

In Nevertheless, published in April 2017, Baldwin recounts his battles with alcoholism and cocaine addiction in his twenties. Eventually, a particularly heavy binge resulted in cocaine psychosis and overdose, but it also led the then 27-year-old actor to begin his recovery.

Baldwin identifies himself as an alcoholic in recovery, an example of not only using his far-reaching public platform to encourage people struggling with addiction, but how open and honest discussion of personal struggles can do so much to diminish the stigma associated with the disease of addiction.

Wednesday’s ceremony will feature guest emcee Dion Flynn, a regular on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon who is best known for impersonating Barack Obama (and 15 other characters).  Flynn also pioneered and conducts Improv Recovery Workshops for recovering addicts.

The Freedom Institute Spring Gala, including a reception and dinner, begins at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18 at the Mandarin Oriental (80 Columbus Circle) in Manhattan. Tickets, ranging from $350 for guests 35 and younger, to $10,000 for a 10-person table, are available at freedominstitute.org.

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