Santa Fe holds Rally to support the rights of People in Recovery from drug and alcohol addictions
Saturday, September 23, 2017, Santa Fe, New Mexico. September is National Recovery Month. From 12 – 4 pm on September 23rd, Recovery Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Recovery Center, the Friendship Club, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-Santa Fe), and Subaru of Santa Fe will host the Rally for Recovery at the Railyard Park’s Performance Green in Santa Fe.
Addiction is a disease—just like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Individual and collective ignorance feeds the addiction epidemic. Many in our community see people struggling with addiction as morally flawed. They even see people who once struggled with addiction, but are now in recovery as morally flawed. Imagine if we treated cancer or diabetes patients this way. Would this make them less likely to receive treatment, less likely to recover? Santa Fe has a crisis in misunderstanding what addiction and recovery are. This is fanning the flames of our city’s addiction epidemic and causing the very adverse future most people would like to prevent.
On Saturday, September 23rd, Santa Fe’s recovery community will join together to Celebrate people in Recovery, to Rally for the Rights of people struggling with and in recovery from addiction, and to let our whole community know how they can volunteer in support of Santa Fe’s Recovery agencies. We will rally for the right to be treated and supported, just like those suffering from other diseases. We will rally for the right to be considered for employment. We will rally for the right to be respected for our accomplishments. On Saturday, People in recovery from substance use disorder will join with their family and friends, local treatment providers, and employers to change Santa Fe’s understanding of addiction and recovery.
Mayor Javier Gonzales will read the City’s proclamation declaring September 23rd Recovery Day in Santa Fe. The Honorable Kelly Zunie, former Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Indian affairs, will provide the keynote address. The rally includes a recovery art show displaying paintings, jewelry, furniture, sculpture, and other unique creations. It includes a community meal provided by Peas N Pod Catering with City Counselor Sig Lindell as one of the servers. There will be face painting, a play area, entertainers, and other events for kids. Fifty exhibitors will share information about their recovery services including Presbyterian Medical Services, The Life Link, the Santa Fe Recovery Center, the State Behavioral Health Services Division, the State Department of Health, mutual aid 12-step groups, the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line, and Christus St. Vincent Medical Center.
There are over 10,000 Santa Feans in recovery and about the same number still struggling with active substance use disease. Chris Wendel, Recovery Santa Fe co-organizer explains that "We need to bring forth the Face of Recovery; we need to publicly acknowledge addiction is a disease that can be healed. We have to end the stigma, end the discrimination. Our nation has stigmatized addiction disease to the point that too many people don't even realize that recovery is possible ". The Rally’s goal is for everyone to understand that addiction is a treatable disease. Turning back the addiction epidemic requires a whole-community effort that includes embracing, supporting and celebrating people in recovery. Our community must end the stigma and discrimination that make this disease worsen.
Event funded in coordination with the NM Office of Peer Recovery & Engagement with support from Subaru of Santa Fe, Erin’s Mom and Dad, The Gale Foundation, and Impact DWI.