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WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — September is National Recovery Month and Saturday several agencies collaborated for an event in Warren to show support for those battling addiction.
Dozens gathered on Courthouse Square in Warren to celebrate their sobriety at the First Annual Recovery Rally. The event was put together by the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force.
Lauren Thorp with the Trumbull County Mental Health Recovery Board said the event is held to show people recovery is possible.
“There is hope. Treatment works. People do recover,” said Thorp. “We also wanted to celebrate those that are in recovery because we know recovery is not an easy road.”
Thorp said drug addiction is a huge problem in the area and Trumbull County is ranked seventh in the state for accidental opiate overdoses.
“We have had a huge rash of overdoses within the past four weeks of young females overdosing from heroin,” said Thorp.
Jacklyn Santagata was an addict for three years. She said Saturday’s event shows those in recovery that people care and they are not alone.
“I always felt really nervous and intimidated by everybody. I always felt like I had a big “Loser” on my forehead,” said Santagata. “Being here, I really see that there’s a lot of people who care.”
Tables were set up providing resources available throughout the community for recovering addicts.
Of those at the rally, two in recovery were a teenaged girl and a man once employed by a Fortune 500 company. State Rep. Tom Letson was also invited to the event to share his story of recovery and sobriety.
“I’m in recovery, so that would lend a certain amount of background knowledge in how to deal with and how to advocate for people and programs of recovery,” said Letson.
Thorp said her wish is that everyone who attended the event left with a sense of hope that there is help for people in addiction.