Thousands of people came from around the U.S. to the National Mall on October 4th to stand up for recovery! The Unite to Face Addiction rally was there to show that recovery works! There is still the stigma that people don’t sober up or quit using drugs on a long term basis. The general public just doesn’t know all the facts. 12 Step recovery’s anonymous factor keeps many people quiet about their recovery and shame of having addiction. We have over 20 million people with long term recovery from drugs and/or alcohol in America and many more worldwide. There are many different roads to recovery, 12 Steps, Celebrate Recovery, Overcomers, Rational Recovery and more. This was not about what method you use but if you have been successful in long term abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Stand up they did! Celebrities like Steven Tyler, Joe Walsh, MacKenzie Phillips, Sheryl Crow, Christopher Kennedy Lawford and many more came to bring attention to the addiction crisis and the possibility of recovery. Our President has appointed drug czar Michael Botticelli who has 25 years of recovery from addiction and knows both sides of coin in this drug turmoil. There were Senators and the Surgeon General Vivek H. Murphy who are committed to finding a solution to this epidemic.
Dr. Mehmet Oz is educating physicians of the dangers of addiction when prescribing narcotics both to addicts and non-addicts. Many people have become addicted to prescription medications who have never used street drugs. Once the Doctor stops prescribing or they cannot pay for their medications, many people are turng to heroin for pain relief and that is why the heroin epidemic in this country has escalated. We have many non-violent offenders incarcerated with an addiction problem. We cannot jail this problem away. This is just some of the information to enlighten people at the Unite to Face Addiction event.
People came to hear some great music! Joe Walsh opened the show with over 20 years sober, Joe has been an inspiration to many both in and out of the music biz dealing with addiction. He performed his song “One Day at a Time” to an enthusiastic audience. Sheryl Crow, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls and The Fray whose lead singer Issac Slade has family in recovery. The anthem of the event “End of Silence” was co-written by musician Kasim Sulton and songwriter Paul Williams both with decades in recovery. Steven Tyler of “Aerosmith” closed the show with his Nashville band “Loving Mary” starting with a moment of silence and telling the audience he was “proud of their recovery!” Tyler has had his share of issues with addiction & recovery, having had 12 years recovery and relapsing. He went to treatment and now has 3 years. Relapse happens but so does RECOVERY!
photos by Vicky Sullivan, Rock the Lens Photography