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Organizers gather in Harrisburg Wednesday to take a stand against drug and alcohol abuse

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 21 million Americans suffer from addiction.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 21 million Americans suffer from addiction. Organizers say because the statistics are so high and September is known as National Recovery Month, they will head to the capitol again for their 8th Annual Addiction Recovery Advocacy Day in Harrisburg. 

The event Wednesday morning is expected to bring medical providers, lawmakers, those battling and recovering from addiction, and loved ones to the forefront of raising awareness of drug and alcohol addiction. 

Kristin Varner, director of Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol, says the annual event is a way to show legislators how approved funding can save lives and create partnerships. Varner has been in long-term recovery since 2005 and says she knows firsthand how important it is to utilize and have access to resources. 

“The first thing that comes out of it is that we start making relationships with our legislators," Varner said. "They know who we are, they know that when they get a call, which sometimes happens to place somebody into treatment, they know who to call within their community to help them make that connection." 

Multiple providers from across the state will be at the capitol to connect people resources and groups. Survivors who recovered from their drug or alcohol addiction will speak and tell stories of hope. 

“If an individual is struggling and they’re not sure where to go, today is a great day to come out to meet some of us and to find your way through this pathway of recovery," Varner said. "There are many different avenues you can take, we have prepared to talk about different pathways and just show people it can and does work." 

The 8th Annual Addiction Recovery Advocacy Day kicks off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Advocates are encouraged to wear the color purple because it represents recovery. A poster contest is also available for participants to enter in. To win participants must: 

  • Create a poster with the theme of recovery 
  • Include the date and time of the event

Winners will be posted to the organization's Facebook and saved for next year's Annual Addiction Recovery Advocacy Day. 

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