There is a serious drug problem in our city and our country! We need BIG help! We are addicted to alcohol, prescription medications, heroin, crack, meth, and many other substances that are all killing Americans at alarming rates. To give you some stats, 22 million Americans have an addiction to drugs or alcohol and 90% of them start as teenagers! My own experience is that I started using around the age of 14, smoking cigarettes and marijuana along with experimenting with the drugs of the 70’s, LSD and Mescaline. As I got older, alcohol became my primary DOC (drug of choice).
On Sunday, October 4th, there is a rally on the grounds of the National Mall in DC for people to stand up for recovery. There are over 20 million people in the US with long term recovery! People need to know there are many people who have stayed clean and/or sober for many years and that addiction does not have to be the stigma it has been for too long. Everyone knows someone, family or friend with an addiction problem in this day and age. The time is NOW for helping those afflicted.
Steven Tyler, who has been public about his addiction & recovery will be performing along with Joe Walsh of the Eagles who has been sober for decades. Kasim Sulton, bass player for Todd Rundgren, has co-written the Unite – Facing Addiction anthem along with Paul Williams, both of who have been in recovery for over 25 years. Sheryl Crow, Aloe Blacc, John Rzeznick of the Goo Goo Dolls are all performing.
On October 5 & 6, people will be going to Capitol Hill to discuss addiction and mental health issues and what we can do to stop the insanity of over 200 people dying every day in the US from addiction. One of bills being discussed is CARA- Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act. This bill would help people get treatment and criminal justice reform for non-violent offenders who are filling up our jails and prisons, who are really just people who need help for addiction problems.
They specifically chose this location for this rally because many important events have happened on the National Mall, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech! As a person in recovery, I am excited to be attending this event and covering it for the Sarasota Post. Yes, the music will be awesome, the speakers will be inspiring, but the most important thing is to save lives and give HOPE to people who are trapped in addiction and think there is no way out – we are here to show you there is!