WASHINGTON (WDVM) — A Rockville recovery center went to Washington D.C. to participate in this year’s Walk 4 ReCovery at the National Mall.
Marching alongside the Washington Monument, chants of “walk for recovery” were loudly heard through the air as those walking for drug addiction awareness headed towards the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
“Hope” is imprinted on the memorial, a word attendees said they agree with. Jasmine Harrison, the daughter of the person who founded Walk4Recovery, said the walk is “all things related to recovery. Also not limited to people who are experiencing co-reoccurring disorders or afflictions from addiction.”
Harrison adds that giving those people need support, and this helps their transition back to everyday life. Those suffering that decided to speak out have gotten help, she said. But they need more than this just this walk to raise awareness for the country.
The group marches only a few miles away from the White House with a purpose. “This is a national effort,” says Harrison. Walking close to the White House “can prompt changes to be made legislatively that will pass down into the communities that will help people that are suffering.”
The fight is timely. According to the National Institute of drug abuse, Maryland ranks in the top five in the US for opioid-related deaths and DC is at number three.
A local organization, Montgomery Recovery Services, set up miles away from their Rockville, Maryland site in DC. “We believe that awareness for the community,” says Montgomery Recovery Services owner, Dennis Stiles, “is the biggest asset that we have for treatment right now.”
The recovery site said turnout has increased after they passed out information at their booth to promote awareness alongside the Walk 4 ReCovery movement. Stiles said people are speaking out, crying for help with addiction and he is more than happy to help.
But addiction treatment alone is not the only solution, Harrison said. It’s in the prevention of addiction in the first place as well. Treating mental health is a prevention tool she asserts. “It’s all related, your mental health, your physical well-being, your spiritual health, all related to the whole healthy person.”
The Walk 4 ReCovery plans to continue its annual tradition for years to come to continue to provide awareness to mental health and addiction issues.