by Madeline Murphy
The third annual Walk Against Heroin will commence at 12 p.m. on Sept. 8 at City Park.
Aside from the one lap in remembrance of those lost, guest speakers and musicians are planned at Saturday’s walk.
Recovery speakers are a huge element for hope, said Rich Walters, VOCA Treatment Center’s national outreach director, and organizer.
“The walk is about more than recovery,” he said.
According to Walters, it is about remembering those who have lost their lives to opioid addiction, and showing those who are addicted and their families that there is a way out.
“There will be booths set up with information on how you can help or get help,” Walters said.
“This will be a great way for our message to reach out to the community, letting people know where and how to get help, either for them or someone else,” Walters said.
“This is more than an addict problem, it is a community problem,” Walters said.
“We will have family speakers, including children, who have lived with addicts who have either died or recovered,” he said.
“We urge everyone to come,” Walters said.
Walters said he is a recovered addict, too.
“I became clean April 28, 2014, organizing the walk and working for a treatment center is how I give back,” Walters said.
“I never made ‘Hope Dealers Live,’ a group formed to promote hope, education and awareness to substance abuse, into a non-profit organization, so the funding to put on each walk comes out of my pocket,” he said. “But it is worth it, because the stories told, and lives changed through these walks are important,” Walters said.
“There will be people there who struggle with drugs, and they need to know that there is a life without drugs and that it is amazing,” he said.
Kolichee, a musician, will perform at the event. He is best known for his video “Drug Addiction” viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube.
Anyone needing or knowing someone who needs help with treatment due to a drug addiction or alcoholism can call 855 572-8503, he said.