I'm sure you've seen me posting, tweeting, or talking about this event by now. If you haven't yet, I'll explain everything below. I'm going to be in Washington D.C. on October 4 uniting to face addiction and YOU should be too!
What is Unite To Face Addiction?
Unite to Face Addiction is a big rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C. set to take place on Sunday, October 4, from 4 to 8 p.m. The event will include musical performances from Steven Tyler, The Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, The Fray, and many others. Additionally, there will be recovery advocates from across the country and inspirational speakers whose lives have been touched by addiction in some way. The goal of Unite To Face Addiction is to bring awareness and new solutions to the addiction crisis in America.
Over 600 organizations, people in recovery, and their allies, will stand in solidarity to UNITE to face addiction and break the silence around this urgent health issue. The aim is to provide hope to the 22 million people who are still out there sick and suffering in the throes of addiction and celebrate the 23 million others who are today living their life in recovery. There is a dire need to rebrand addiction from what some perceive as a moral issue to create understanding, empathy, and outrage in order to advance a long-term solution for this disease. The human and social costs of addiction are beyond out of control and this event seeks solutions and to lower these devastating costs.
Why Am I Going?
At first I wasn't going to attend Unite to Face Addiction. I thought the cause was great and in line with my beliefs, but I couldn't squeeze another trip into my schedule. Then I started reading more about the rally and other sober bloggers on the web encouraged me to go. I began to see the urgency of this movement. What kind of sober señorita would I be if I didn't attend? None at all. I booked my ticket and took a stand. I've never been one who is quiet about their beliefs and moral values, so I knew I NEEDED to be at this event.
Hearing the statistic that every 4 minutes a person dies from an overdose or alcohol-related/addiction event literally is like a knife in my heart. You know why? That could have been me. It has been people I knew. It's heartbreaking. Most of all it makes me outraged because there are solutions to these problems. They are preventable. There is help, treatment centers, paths to recovery, and a way out. In order to make these solutions more readily available there has to be change and in order for change to happen, we must speak up. Addiction affects 1 in 3 American households, so why is it still looked at as a moral failing and "taboo" to talk about?
That's why I'm going to stand up for what I believe in. I'm going because I am one of 23 million Americans who has found the beauty of recovery. I am one of those people whose life has been touched by addiction and I am not ashamed to say it. I have a moral responsibility to show others recovery is possible. I'm tired of addicts and alcoholics dying, feeling like there is no way out, or thinking that admitting they are an alcoholic is the worst thing in the world - because it's not. Let's stop treating people with the disease of addiction like they're criminals and give them what they need - HELP. That's why you'll find me in Washington D.C. on October 4. If not me, who? If not now, when?
How Can You Get Involved?
You can attend the rally. There are rally buses traveling from all over the U.S. Speak up, share your story, and start the conversation. Let's change public perception of addiction and recovery. If you are the member of an organization your group can become a partnering organization of the event. If you're already attending or can't make it Sunday, there are several other important events also happening the same weekend in D.C.
- Fed Up Rally- Calling for an end to the epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths attributed to opioids (including heroin) and other prescription drugs.
- Freakovery Funkraiser - A night of music, food, and philanthropy to benefit organizations in the fight against addiction: Facing Addiction, Nick’s Place, and RAVECLEAN. DC’s own Scott Magnuson and Shaaren Pine, owners of The Argonaut and founders of Restaurant Recovery, invite you to their home-away-from-home to sing, dance, eat, and chat the night away.
- Advocacy Day - Monday, October 5. Citizen advocates will meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill to engage in conversations about the need for addiction solutions and the growing constituency of consequence that is demanding solutions.
If none of theses things are possible for you, please share the event on your social media and talk about it with your friends and family. The conversation of addiction is way past overdue. The time is now as we unite to face addiction.