Origninally posted on the Davidson Dispatch by Kassaundra Shanette Lockhart / Correspondent
Aug 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Often when the word recovery is mentioned, it’s associated with the loss of something: a watch, time, emails, money, peace, etc.
On Sept. 16, this word that is typically viewed through a negative lens will be associated with words that celebrate a continuous milestone in the lives of many residents of Davidson County. The word recovery will be grouped in sentences with words such pride, triumph, overcome, perseverance, happiness and resilience as the county holds the first Davidson County Recovery Rally. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Breeden Insurance Amphitheater. A walk is set to begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. It’s hosted by the Davidson County Recovery Team which is comprised of stakeholders within the community.
The purpose of the event is to celebrate those who are in recovery from addictions as well as highlight the importance of those who value recovery.
Delton Russell, member engagement specialist for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, is ecstatic about the event and the vision behind it.
“The idea behind the event is to raise the visibility of recovery in the county,” stated Russell, who has been in long-term recovery for 21 years. “There’s a lot of shame and stigma related to addiction that causes people to keep their recovery status quiet. We currently have 23 and a half million people in recovery. Less than five percent are open about the fact they’re in recovery.”
The shame and stigma are major driving forces in holding an event of this magnitude to showcase the fact that recovery is possible, right here in Davidson County. To carry out the vision, the walk is centered around a two-fold process: 1) highlight those in recovery, such as Russell; 2) create a space for some of the most important people in the community, recovery allies.
“We’ve long neglected them. Recovery allies are huge because they haven’t experienced addiction first hand but they support recovery and see the value in it. The recovery ally is so important because they are public opinion. If we have enough recovery allies in the community then public opinion of addiction and recovery starts to change. That’s our ultimate end goal,” said Russell.
A few months ago, the major news to hit the airwaves was the identification of an opioid crisis, which solidified the need for the rally.
“Unintentional overdose from opiates is the leading cause of death under the age of 49,” noted Russell. “There’s a massive amount of people in active opiate addiction that don’t know recovery is possible.”
For the event, the Davidson County Health Department is lending its support. As a vital voice of the Davidson County Recovery Team, they believe it’s imperative to educate the public about abuse and support in recovery.
Jen Hames, health education supervisor for the Davidson County Health Department, stresses the importance of recognizing how prevalent the opioid epidemic is, even in our own backyard.
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