A rally scheduled to take place next month in Winchester, Virginia will be raising awareness about substance use disorders while honoring those who have gone or are going through drug addiction recovery.
The event will not only support the addiction recovery community but it will also target the stigma of addiction. The organizers of the rally explained that promoting awareness about the stigma associated with substance use disorders is crucial considering the fact that stigma is what prevents a number of people from going to addiction treatment or seeking help.
The family-friendly event, dubbed Addicted to Hope Rally Uniting to End a Stigma, will feature guest speakers that will be providing information on drug abuse prevention strategies and help the public learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of substance use disorders.
The event will also with feature live bands, food vendors and a number of attractions for the kids, such as a bounce house.
The Addicted to Hope Rally happens annually and September will mark the third year of the event. The rally is held by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition in partnership with the Community Law Enforcement against Narcotics (CLEAN), a private nonprofit organization founded in 1986 to provide leadership through advocacy, education, and networking to families in the Winchester region.
Representatives from the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition stated that they believe that there has been progress made toward increased awareness in the region and that more community members have been supporting individuals going through addiction recovery.
In 2017, the event welcomed more than 500 persons and the organizers are expecting approximately 800 people to attend this year’s event. The organizers of the rally are also having the support and endorsement of city officials and local organizations.
The representatives have also stated that they are hopeful the occasion can help the community members who have a substance use disorder and need help as well as those that have loved ones struggling with addiction.
CLEAN members highlighted that more similar events should be happening due to the fact that substance abuse has been a growing issue in the Winchester region and the rest of the state.
Reports from the Virginia Department of Health have revealed that there were 1,401 emergency department visits caused by heroin overdoses in the state in 2016 in contrast to 1,586 in 2017.
The reports provided by the state’s health department also highlighted that the rate of emergency department visits associated with heroin overdoses went from 80.0 per 100,000 residents in 2016 to 105.4 per 100,000 residents in 2017.
The Addicted to Hope Rally will be held on September 15. Attendees are expected to meet up at 3 pm at the Handley High School and rally until 8 pm.