Supporters, people in recovery and behavioral health providers gathered in East Muskingum Park on Saturday for the 3rd Annual Recovery Walk.
The event featured a two-mile walk, informational booths, free t-shirts and a produce stand.
Tara Plaugher, recovery advocate at the Washington County Behavioral Health Board, said the event honors National Recovery Month in September.
“The purpose of this event is to raise awareness for recovery, how beautiful it is and to help strengthen our recovery community, because we are growing, and we are contributing members of society and we’re doing our part,” she said.
Plaugher said the event organized by the WCBHB is a collaboration between Peer Solutions, Angel’s Harbor, the Washington County Health Department, the Right Path for Washington County, Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, Spero Health, Medmark, Our Legacy Day Drop In Center, Washington County Homeless Project, House of hope, Southeastern Ohio Counseling Services, Hopewell Health, Oriana House, Rigel Recovery Services and Buckeye Hills. She said these groups are doing their part to support anyone seeking recovery.
“We all come together and we try to offer what resources we have to strengthen everyone’s recovery the best we can,” she said. “That’s what it’s about, it’s not just one, it takes all of us.”
Plaugher said behavioral health providers like the Washington County Health Department provide a necessity to the event, by offering free Narcan training to attendees. Narcan is an opiod overdose treatment. She said the department was also passing out Deterra, a drug deactivation and disposal system.
Plaugher said a new addition to this year’s recovery walk is the produce stand. She said recovery is about mind, body and spirit, and what you are putting in your body is an important part of the process.
Cathy Harper, with the Right Path for Washington County, said thanks to grants they were able to provide fresh produce for youth and families at the event.
“It’s really about getting kids to make healthy choices and think about what they’re putting in their body, and it all begins with food,” she said. “We recognize that recovery and treatment are very important, so it’s a continuum of care.”
Carri Holloway, attendee, said recovery is important to her so she can help show others that it is possible. She said recovery was possible for her through her relationship with Jesus and the help of Angel’s Harbor, a faith driven treatment facility in Vincent.
“I’ve been using since I was 12,” she said. “I didn’t know Jesus until about two years ago and I didn’t take it (recovery) serious at all until I came to Angel’s.”
Jasmine Fluharty, attendee, has been Facetiming a family member through their recovery, as a healthier way to grow their relationship. Fluharty explained that her family member has been using methamphetamines for 25 years. Fluharty said she, herself, has previously used, in order to have a relationship with said family member, get attention from them and “fit in” with their friends. She said her experience was so traumatic that she will never go back to using again.
“It’s good to have that — relationship, especially if she’s doing well and I’m actually really proud of her,” she said. “She finally got it clicked in her mind that I need help and she needed recovery. For her to admit that, is like the biggest step of recovery, admitting that you have a problem.”
Fluharty said she was happy to be at the event and that people in recovery should get out and exercise more to help them keep their mind busy and stay off of drugs.
Doug Terrell, marketing manager with Wendy’s, said he attended the recovery walk to help support the Right Path of Washington County. Terell said recovery holds a special place in his heart, because he has hired several people in recovery to work at local Wendy’s restaurants. He said two of his hires worked their way up to positions in management.
“We’re always looking for good people and we found out that there are really good people out there, they just need the opportunity,” he said. “The two I’m talking about, both in the last two years, bought a new car,” he said.
Terrell mentioned that one of the two employees got back custody of their daughter and are in the process of buying a house.
“It makes me feel good,” he said.