The Addiction Recovery Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, along with a number of community partners, will host the End Addiction Birmingham Recovery Walk as part of National Recovery Month on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Railroad Park.
The Recovery Walk is free and will run from 5-9 p.m.
UAB’s Addiction Recovery Program, along with community partners, hosts the End Addiction Birmingham Recovery Walk to draw attention to substance abuse issues.
National Recovery Month, now in its 27th year, is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The latest report from SAMHSA indicates that more than 20 million Americans age 12 or older have a substance abuse disorder. In the past year, the number of heroin users in the United States has grown by 230 percent, and the number of deaths from heroin use has gone up by 630 percent.
“While in the throes of the national opioid epidemic, we continue to stress that addiction is a disease, like diabetes or heart failure, and it can be treated just like other medical conditions,” said Terri Williams-Glass, director of the UAB Addiction Recovery Program. “We know that recovery programs can be successful, and the End Addiction Birmingham Recovery Walk is designed to increase awareness of the scope of addiction in Alabama, while offering hope for individuals and families affected by this disease.”
A highlight of the event will be a memorial ceremony with lighted balloons for those who have died from drug abuse. Other activities will celebrate those in recovery, including a one-lap walk through the park. Food trucks will be on hand, along with live music.
Educational activities will include training in obtaining and using naloxone kits to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, along with awareness information on addiction recovery and community support programs. Treatment providers will be on hand to offer counseling and linkage to care for those seeking help with an addiction issue.
National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.