Please allow me to continue with the importance of awareness in the work to address the causes, the obstacles, and the recovery opportunities associated with substance misuse and addiction.
Many of you have heard about or perhaps even participated in the UNITE to Face Addiction Event in Washington DC this past weekend. Indeed, October 4th was a day in which tens of thousands of people rallied in an organized way on the National Mall to broadcast the message and, in fact, deepen the conversation about the huge substance problems and need for multi-level solutions for this entire country. I was unable to attend. Yet there were many people I know who traveled from New Jersey and other locations to join together. Many had lost loved ones, including children, to the disease of addiction and others had somehow successfully navigated to sustained recovery and yet still wanted to help to advance the message. Well known performers with their own stories brought their talents and messages of courage, hope and strength in voices to the stage. Though it was disappointing that major news media outlets did not cover the event and take the message as far as they could and should have, this event without a doubt did have an impact on awareness that is needed to try to move everyone in positions of influence to impact and even make decisions in these areas and to listen more intently and hopefully to work more effectively together.
My friend, Denise Mariano, a most compassionate and experienced advocate and parent coach for Parents for Drug-Free Kids, traveled to Washington to be there with so many others. She shared with me that the event demonstrated that it is “our time to end the silence and mobilize policy change. And this day also proved to be an opportunity to honor and remember each and every one of the souls who we sadly lost to this disease. We did begin to celebrate the hope for the possibility of recovery for all of those still struggling including families throughout our nation” and to reduce the risk of those who might someday encounter the disease.
We need to continue this effort of awareness on every level – nationally, statewide, and in our communities. On this Saturday, October 17, Prevention Links will have its annual Drug Prevention Walk. It’s an opportunity to participate in awareness as well as helping to benefit the Raymond J. Lesniak Experience, Strength and Hope Recovery High School to raise funds that help adolescents with substance problems to continue their education and advance their recovery. The CHRIS COPPOLA CDUB Foundation, which was established in memory of my son, is one of the many sponsors of the walk and will be represented by “Team Chris”. There will be so many others. The tag line that “Everyone knows someone…” is very real. It’s not too late to register for the walk.
More to come,
Prevention Links and CHRIS COPPOLA CDUB Foundation