Krista Black, Red Deer Recovery Day organizer, holds a sign that reads, 'End the stigma, break the silence,' during the event at City Hall Park on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deer Recovery Day targets stigma surrounding addiction

For the past decade, Red Deer Recovery Day has aimed to celebrate and raise awareness about recovery from addiction.

The 10th annual edition of the Red Deer event was hosted at City Hall Park on Saturday.

“I’m so grateful we have this community for people to find recovery from whatever they’re struggling with,” said organizer Krista Black.

“Recovery gives people the chance to become well again and heal family trauma. It’s really important that we reduce the stigma around addiction because that puts a barrier to people finding recovery.

“Even just admitting they have a problem to people that they love or people they are close with (can be difficult) because there’s so much shame around it. If we can share openly that there is no shame and open up the discussion … then people can find the recovery they need without the fear of shame and judgment.”

Black recalled how a trip to British Columbia a decade ago helped create Red Deer Recovery Day.

“I had gone to B.C. in 2012 and saw Recovery Day there and I thought it was something Red Deer needs. I thought we need to promote recovery, we need to reduce the stigma around addiction,” said Black.

“There were a lot of people who were on board and wanted to promote recovery in our community. It’s something I’m really passionate about and I know others are really passionate about it too.”

The past 10 years of Red Deer Recovery Day events wouldn’t have been possible without help from a lot of volunteers, Black noted.

A number of organizations had information booths available during Red Deer Recovery Day.

“I’m super grateful for all of the organizations in our community that support recovery and help people facilitate recovery,” she said.

Also during the event, people who are recovering from addiction had the opportunity to share their story with other attendees.

“Them sharing openly and publicly can help somebody else understand that maybe they have a problem too and that they can find recovery because other people have done it,” said Black.

“People need to know there is help available and there are people who have been through this and come through the other side. It’s possible and there is hope.”

For more information on Red Deer Recovery Day, visit

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