Clark County rallies for recovery

Published 3:30 pm Monday, September 27, 2021

Sarah Rison knows what it is like to watch a loved one suffer from addiction; she also knows what it is like to lose a family member due to complications from addiction.

It’s why she walked on Friday. It’s why many joined her in a somber march up Main Street in Winchester.

The Rally4Recovery, held since 2016, is an evening to remember those who have lost their lives to and those among the living who still deal with addiction issues.

“It’s very difficult,” said Rison about watching her family members wrestle with addiction. “I watched my mother suffer for many, many years, and she recovered.”

Rison walked in honor of Dwayne Rison and Kim Bowling, her uncle and aunt, who tragically passed away due to addiction issues. She said she had another reason for walking.

“For the ones that are suffering now from addiction to know that recovery does matter and that it does work,” Rison said.

Juanita Everman is the executive director and co-founder of Achieving Recovery Together, the Winchester non-profit that organizes the event. She is also a recovering addict, and has lost five nieces and nephews to overdoses.

She did not mince words about the difficulty of the recovery process.

“It’s hard. You are coming out of a mess, and you don’t know what to do. You don’t know who to call, who to look for or where services are at,” Everman said.

Those with addiction issues need to know there is support, Everman said, and the public needs to be educated about what is “a life-long hurt.”

“You think you have this idea of what an addict looks like and who an addict is,” she said. “Stigma is terrible. We need to educate people on the stigma and let them know it is a community problem. The community needs to accept that, get it out of their head that it isn’t happening in their own backyard and help be a solution.”

Besides the remembrance walk, the event featured speakers, live music, a free spaghetti dinner and resource tables.

For more information on Achieving Recovery Together and its services, visit the organization’s website at www.achievingrecoverytogether.org.