Through Access to Recovery (ATR) funding, the Iowa Department of Public Health offered stipends for 10 ATR providers to send a staff member, stakeholder or alumnus to UNITE to Face Addiction Recovery Rally in Washington, D.C. on October 4. Shirley Schneider, ASAC’s ATR Coordinator, attended the event that was estimated to have over 10,000 in attendance. The purpose of the rally was to let the nation know that addiction is preventable and treatable, and that people can and do get well.
Presentations were made throughout the day by notable speakers such as U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, ONCDP Director Michael Botticelli, and former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, as well as comments by health experts such as Dr. Oz and musical performances by Steven Tyler, Joe Walsh and Sheryl Crow.
When asked what she thought about the rally, Shirley stated “I was inspired to see the number of people at the rally, identifying their recovery status on poster and t-shirts. It was also sobering to see the number of friends and family attending the rally with pictures of a loved one lost to addiction. The speakers renewed my desire to make a difference through substance abuse treatment and an interest in advocacy.”