UNITE to Face Addiction–the first-ever national rally/event for addiction–is 40 days away. Excitement mixed with nervousness and anxiety is building for the organizing team (at least for this team member!)
The Rally is rapidly becoming the place to be for anyone who wants to shift the national conversation about addiction from finger-pointing problems to holistic solutions. Here’s the news release headline out of Washington last week:
Featuring Performances from Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, The Fray, John Rzeznik and More
Rally Will Mark “The Day the Silence Ends” for the 1 in 3 US Households Impacted by Addiction
Big names, right? Six weeks ago we didn’t know if we’d have any talent lined up; now the magnitude of the effort is staring us in the face. The good news is the “us” is morphing into a stratospheric number. We have more than 500 grassroots mobilizing partners and somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500 people are signed up to serve as ambassadors, volunteers, state captains and bus captains (For more info about how to book a Rally Bus, click here.).
The national attention boggles my mind.
“Together we must find solutions to the addiction crisis and put a face on the hope that survivors offer,” said health expert and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz, in a PSA released in support of the event.
In addition to Dr. Oz, other folks who have already embraced and endorsed this event include Congresswoman Mary Bono, Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Author & Activist Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Author & TV Host Pat O’Brien, Entrepreneur and Music Producer Russell Simmons, former Major League Baseball Star Darryl Strawberry, Best-Selling Author William Cope Moyers, Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, Former Astronaut Steve Oswald and many more.
“UNITE to Face Addiction will mark the first time our nation will collectively stand up to addiction, a health problem that impacts 1 in 3 households,” my friend, Greg Williams, said. Greg is co-founder of Facing Addiction and a person in long-term recovery.
“Twenty-two million Americans are currently suffering from a substance use disorder, and more than 23 million others are living in recovery. When you include the families of the afflicted, addiction impacts over 85 million people – we all know somebody. It’s not ‘those’ people, it’s all of us.”
“When I lost my son, Austin, to addiction, I had no idea this tragedy was happening all over America – and that in our country, a life is lost to addiction every 4 minutes – the equivalent of a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day, with no survivors,” my friend and Facing Addiction co-founder, Jim Hood, said.
“We know there are solutions to the addiction crisis and it’s time for America to face addiction and exercise the political and social will to act on those solutions.”