SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) The disease of addiction is devastating. It destroys lives and rips apart families. So why were thousands of alcoholics and addicts celebrating Saturday in downtown Salt Lake?
Why? Because they are in recovery. They’re struggling through treatment and support and love to stay sober. And if you know any addicts that is a difficult road to tread.
But the atmosphere at the Gallivan Center was upbeat. People smiling, laughing, dancing and singing and then thousands strong they marched through the streets of Salt Lake chanting ‘we love recovery. Recovery works’.
The annual event grows every year as more and more people find the joys of recovery. “People getting well, no longer using drugs and alcohol,” says Mary Jo McMillin from USARA, Utah Support Advocates For Recovery Awareness.
She’s been in recovery for decades and knows the joy it can bring and the need to spread the word. “The more we talk about drug and alcohol addiction and that people do recover if they have the support from people who love them, people will get better.”
Ivette Torres from Health and Human Services in Washington came to the Salt Lake celebration today because Utah is doing a great job with the recovery movement. “Every single person in recovery really deserves to be lauded for what they’ve accomplished,” she says. “They are getting back to families and giving back to communities.”
One recovering addict with a baby in her arms says “my recovery is my everything right now. I don’t know where I would be without the House of Hope (a recovery treatment center).
“I’m tired of living my lifestyle and using every day,” says another recovering addict. “I just wanted to change my life.”
The day of recovery means a lot to another man in sobriety. “When you’re out there using you kind of feel alone. Then you come here and see these people all in recovery. It’s a beautiful thing.”