Red Deer’s David P. Anderson has battled drug and alcohol addiction for much of his life.
Anderson was one of many who shared their story at Recovery Day at City Hall Park in Red Deer on Saturday.
“I’m hoping to spread the message that recovery is possible – it happened for me,” said Anderson.
Anderson said he hit rock-bottom a few times while battling his addictions, but it wasn’t until he took action that he began taking his life back.
“If I didn’t take constructive action, then it never would have happened,” he said.
People don’t need to die for their addictions, Anderson said, which is the message he was hoping to spread at the fourth annual Recovery Day.
“The very nature of addiction has you living in delusion and if I can bring just and ounce of clarity to someone suffering, that might be the ounce they need to tip the scales for them,” he said
Krista Black, Recovery Day coordinator, said the event celebrates, educates and advocates for addiction recovery.
“We’re trying to eradicate the stigma attached to addictions so people have no shame in speaking up about their recovery or asking for help.
“People who are out her are gathering knowledge and knowledge is stigma’s greatest enemy,” said Black.
Having dozens of people come out for the three-hour event made Black very grateful, she said.
It’s important the stigma is smashed and people accept those battling addictions, Black added.
“We’re living proof that recovery is possible. We’re loud, we’re proud and we’re not anonymous,” said Black.
In the future Black said she wants to see an addiction recovery centre opened in the city. She said there are plenty of supports available in the city for people battling addictions, but a centre is needed.
“Opening a community centre would provide a safe environment where people can maintain their recovery and wait for treatment,” she said.
Red Deer was one of 30 cities across Canada to participate in Recovery Day.
For more details on the event, visit www.recoverydaycanada.com.