By Haley Wilson
The Birmingham Times
On Saturday, March 12, The Addiction Prevention Coalition (APC) will host its annual End Addiction Bham walk in Railroad Park at 10 a.m. to raise awareness and funds for individuals who need financial assistance to enter substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, and to fund prevention programming in schools and communities.
The last walk was held in 2019 at Veterans Park in Hoover.
APC is a non-profit community resource that aims to eliminate addiction in Central Alabama. The Walk began in 2017 and originally named the ‘End Heroin Walk’ to spread awareness about the drug epidemic in Alabama.
“After our first walk the response from the community was immense,” said Nikeisha Macon, director of operations for the group since January.
The 2022 ‘Champion of the Cause’ for the walk is Trussville native Brent Bonham. After a 10-year stretch of drug abuse, Bonham found sobriety and has since dedicated his life to combating opioid addiction in Birmingham.
“My experience with my own drug addiction, and my years of experience helping struggling heroin addicts escape addiction, has reinforced my believe in the efforts of APC as well as the End Addiction Walk,” Bonham said. “Their efforts draw both community attention and support as well as provide community resources for struggling addicts and their families.”
Funds raised during the Walk provide scholarships to individuals who need financial assistance to enter SUD treatment, and to fund prevention programming in our local schools and communities.
“The gathering of people from all walks of life, creeds, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses brings a full and complete picture of the impacts of addiction in our community,” Bonham said. “Struggling with addiction is such a lonely path that standing with thousands of others that understand your struggles is an incredibly powerful experience.”
Up to 4,000 people attend these events year after year and as more community service providers joined us, it became one of the largest SUD resource events in the state for those struggling from SUD, those in recovery and those who love them… just one way to reduce the stigma of substance use disorder and encourage people to get the help they need.”
“We’re about awareness, prevention, and connection,” Macon said. “Our biggest goal is to reduce the stigma of getting help or treatment…So, we offer scholarships for people who are looking to get into treatment by paying their entrance fees.”
Originally named The Freedom Source, APC has been providing support for the greater Birmingham area for over a decade. Through in-school prevention programs, educational events, and collection of support services, APC’s aim to be a “convener of organizations united to prevent addiction and relapse.”
The End Addiction BHAM Walk will take place on March 12 from 10 A.M to 2 P.M at Railroad Park. Admission is free.
Addiction Prevention Coalition is located at 324 Commons Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209 and can be reached at (205) 874-8498.