Grassroots movement spurs national rally for addiction awareness | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

Grassroots movement spurs national rally for addiction awareness

September 1, 2015
by Julia Brown, Associate Editor
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A growing perception of addiction as a national health crisis has spurred UNITE to Face Addiction, a rally that will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, October 4. Coming on the heels of National Recovery Month, the awareness event aims to counteract "the country’s widespread denial" of addiction's impact.

More than 450 organizations will attend the rally, presented by Facing Addiction, a newly created national awareness group. According to spokesperson Donald McFarland, the event came together as a result of recent collaborative efforts.

“There’s been this grassroots advocacy movement in the addiction world, and for the first time, a lot of different silos—prevention, treatment, intervention, recovery–are starting to talk to one another about how we talk about addiction and find solutions across the board,” he says.

McFarland adds that Americans are starting to recognize that addiction is a disease that impacts one in every three households—not a moral failure or crime as the majority once thought. But more still needs to be done.

“Heroin overdose is just astronomical in this country, and we’re seeing that issue play out in the presidential campaigns," he says. "Candidates are talking about how we need to do something about this because it’s starting to kill a generation. It's starting to take hold politically on both sides of the aisle.”

Facing Addiction expects tens of thousands of supporters to attend, and policy-makers, elected officials, and cabinet members are expected to speak.

“There has never been a moment in the addiction field when people came together like this," McFarland says.

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