Angelo Lagares has worked as an activist and leader in prevention in treatment services internationally. Since 1991, he has received extensive professional training and development throughout the years. He trained with Boston University Public Health and CASA in The Joined Together Program in 2009 until 2012, Introduction to Certified Addiction Professional at Palm Beach Community College in 2008, and Human Service Specialist at Boricua College in New York in 2004. He was one of fifty advocates nationwide to be chosen to lead Mobilize Recovery, funded by Facebook’s Community Leadership program, which was aimed at changing public and professional attitudes about addiction recovery, and breaking the intergenerational stigma surrounding addiction.
In May 2019, Angelo met with Congress, in Washington, DC and spoke to Senators regarding the importance of reducing health disparities and to improve the quality of services to Latinos. Angelo was also chosen as one of twelve storytellers featured in the powerful “Stop Opioid Silence” campaign supported by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Facebook. Angelo was the only Spanish speaker on the panel and his story was viewed and shared thousands of times. The “SOS” campaign received over 50 million shares and impressions in its first week, positioning Angelo as a vital, dynamic, influential, voice in the recovery and Latino community.
Angelo’s hands-on approach is powerful and effective and he has built a network of Latino advocates, who, just like himself are passionate about translating recovery for communities in Latin America and the United States. He presents research at professional conferences, builds programming with other leaders, and works tirelessly to uplift Latino voices in recovery.
Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice? When did you stop using? A. In Recovery since 2005. Methadone, crack and Etoh (ethanol).
Q. Have you ever been arrested and if so, for what? A. Drug possession.
Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, disease, a choice or a wicked twist of fate. A. For me a brain disease.
Q. Do you log on to ZOOM 12-stepmeetings? Do you share? A. Yes
Q. Have you added anything to your Tool-kit to help keep you sober during the pandemic? A. Zoom meetings and meditation.
Q. Where did you grow up? A. New York and the Dominican Republic
Q. From what school or teacher did you learn the most? A. Teacher Espinoza.
Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to? A. To build Recovery community of color that are linguistically and culturally appropriate and to break historical cultural barriers.
Q. Do you have any children? A. 1
Q. Have you started any new projects because of the quarantine? A. Yes, Online
Q. If you ever retire would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, mountaintop or penthouse? A. The Ocean
Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort? A. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic.
Q. Who has had the biggest influence on you throughout your life? A. My grandmother and uncle.
Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, living ordead, who would they be? (Choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.) A. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salvador Dali and Picasso.
Q. What books or author are you reading now? A. Brene brown
Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show, podcast? A. Jazz radio. Jazz 88
Q. What is your FAVORITE APP? A. MobilizeRecovery
Q. Are you bingeing on any TV series? If so which ones? A. Casa de Papel
Q. Which film have you watched the most? A. Almodóvar’s pain and Glory
Q. Who is your FAVORITE Director? A. Pedro Almodóvar
Q. What is your FAVORITE City? A. New York
Q. What is your FAVORITE Museum? A. MOMA
Q. What is your FAVORITE Restaurant? A. Papas Tapas
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? A. One day at the time.
Q. What is the best piece of advice YOU’VE given? A. Live NOW the power of now.
Q. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken? A. Confronting the public health system.
Q. What is your biggest regret? A. No Regrets.
Q. What is the proudest moment in your life? A. Speaking in front of Congress about health disparities.