LAYTON (News4Utah) – The Utah Attorney General, Sean Reyes will join individuals recovered from opioid addiction in a celebration of sobriety Tuesday night.
Organizers say the purpose of the Opioid Epidemic Outreach Presentation is to “provide hope to the hearts of those in attendance that good things can come to pass even after addition.”
Reyes is one of the speakers for the event along with DEA Utah Agent Randy Park, Layton City Mayor Bob Stevenson, and organizer Dale Covington – who has been sober for 12 years.
“The purpose of this event is to say, ‘There’s hope, there’s light and a need to come together as a community and put aside judgment, put aside other differences because together we can make a difference,'” said Reyes.
Reyes said those who recovered from opioid addiction could have a major impact on others currently working towards recovery.
“There is life after addiction and one of the things you can do is turn your story into an inspiration for others and lift them out of the darkness that they’re in,” said Reyes.
Additionally, the event will provide resources to recovered addicts and opportunities for education and awareness to the public. Reyes said this event is a prelude to the Opioid Solutions Summit at Vivint Smart Home Arena in October.
“Many people treat addiction not as a medical health condition or issue but as a law enforcement issue or they judge people,” said Reyes. “We have to address those who are victims in a way that we are not re-victimizing them and judging them or treating them as criminals.”
Dennis Cecchini said events like these to increase public awareness and reduce negative stigma are necessary when working towards a solution.
“These events are exceedingly important in helping the general public understand this disease. First of all, understanding it is a disease and secondly, understanding that it can be treated,” said Cecchini.
Cecchini has been a strong advocate against the opioid epidemic since he lost his son, Tennyson three years ago to an opioid overdose. Since then, he’s advocated for opioid-related bills on capitol hill and spoken out about possible solutions.
“I would hope that all of these conferences also provide what is desperately needed, which is solutions to stopping the crisis. If they don’t do that, they’re just a conference,” said Cecchini.
The Opioid Epidemic Outreach Presentation will take place Tuesday, August 7th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Layton City Amphitheater. Reyes said everyone is welcome.