165585_180749258624675_3680647_nWhen former Milwaukee County Supervisor and current CEO of A New Way INC., Kathy Arciszewski’s ex-husband (now deceased) was diagnosed as an alcoholic, she got to observe up close and personal the treatment of alcoholism and addiction. Through this experience she came to the conclusion that the treatment of addiction is outdated and misunderstood. Kathy found that labels and stigma undermine the recovery process. She noticed that in contrast that “when a loved one was diagnosed with lung cancer they were not labeled or told that they were at fault for their disease”.

Another thing she discovered is that anonymity was keeping addiction treatment research from making more progress, and though research has been done, people affected by addiction needed to be more politically active in advocating for funding of treatment research. Inspired by the contagious way in which the AIDS community came out of their darkness-slash-closet, to advocate for their disease. Kathy went to friends and community leaders to create A New Way Inc. In her words, “A New Way Inc.’s purpose is to help those suffering from addiction “Come out of the closet” of addiction and step into the light. Meaning to be counted by policy makers to reflect the true number of those afflicted and affected by addiction, like those who suffer from AIDS. Currently the organization is working to raise awareness about the hidden numbers of people suffering from addiction and the need for more funding in the area of addiction treatment research. This is done by partnering with universities, policy makers and medical professionals to fulfill these ends.