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Rutherford County – TN (09/08/2023) Rutherford County Recovery Court in partnership with other community agencies hosted the second annual Overdose Awareness Day event last week to mark International Overdose Awareness Day.
This day is used to remember people who have lost their lives due to drug overdose, acknowledge the grief of family and friends left behind and renew commitment to end overdose and related harmful effects.
Recovery Court Director LaChelle Ricks said, “It was so amazing to see so many people in our community come out to support the Overdose Awareness Day. This isn’t just a day that affects those in addiction or recovery, but it affects every single person. We all have been touched by addiction in one way or another and getting the word out as much as possible of change and recovery will hopefully save lives! I appreciated Commissioners Romel McMurry and Robert Peay for coming out to support the event, and all of our elected officials and Mayor Joe Carr for supporting recovery and Recovery Courts as well.”
Commissioner Robert Peay said,” I attended to try to better educate myself on the resources available to combat drug abuse in our county and state. I was pleased and encouraged to find that the state has several agencies that are available to the public. Some at no cost. The folks I spoke to were both informative and passionate about their work. I had met or was aware of most of the local participants. It was good to see them reaching out to our community. Hopefully we can have more of these opportunities to inform and provide educational support to reduce our drug abuse problems.”
Peay said Narcan is now available at many pharmacies without a prescription.
This event was extremely personal for McMurry who said, “It was great spending time with those who have overcome opioid addiction and with those that are currently in some type of recovery. It was a day to share the message of losing my 20 year old sister and cousin in 2019 to the horrible epidemic that’s spreading like wildfire through the U.S. I lit memorial candles on their behalf. My message to some of the participants was, God gives us second chances, seize the moment, and take it. The resources are available, just ask. If you know someone struggling, get them help or send them my way. I’m proud of the work that our county commission does to fund recovery programs. It’s not worth experimenting with anything these days. One tiny ounce of fentanyl may be your last.”
Approximately, 200 people participated in the event and received information and resources from Goodwill Mobile Career Center, Greenhouse Ministries, H.U.S.T.L.E. (How U Survive This Life Everyday), Prevention Coalition for Success, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Tennessee Department of Health and Volunteer Behavioral Health and other organizations.
The day included comments from General Sessions Court Judge Ben Hall McFarlin III who spoke about Recovery Court, Dr. Stephen Lloyd who shared his personal journey about overcoming opioid addiction, a walk for awareness, Narcan training, memorials and a balloon release.