MARIETTA – Supporters, people in recovery and behavioral health providers gathered at East Muskingum Park Saturday for the 3rd Annual Recovery Walk.
The event featured a two-mile walk, informational booths, free t-shirts and a produce stand.
Tara Plaugher, recovery advocate for the Washington County Board of Behavioral Health, said the event honors National Recovery Month in September.
“The goal of this event is to raise awareness of recovery, how beautiful it is, and help strengthen our recovery community because we are growing and contributing members of society and doing our part.” she said.
Plaugher said the event hosted by WCBHB is a collaboration between Peer Solutions, Angel’s Harbor, Washington County Health Department, Straight Path for Washington County, Integrated Behavioral Health Services, Spero Health, Medmark, Our Heritage Day Drop In Center, Washington County Homeless Project, House of Hope, Southeast Ohio Counseling Services, Hopewell Health, Oriana House, Rigel Recovery Services and Buckeye Hills. She said these groups are doing their part to support anyone seeking recovery.
“We’re all in this together and trying to provide the resources we have to strengthen everyone’s recovery as best we can.” she said. “That’s what it’s all about, it’s not just one, it takes us all.”
Plaugher said behavioral health providers like the Washington County Health Department provide a must for the event, offering free Narcan training to participants. Narcan is an opioid overdose treatment. She said the department was also rolling out Deterra, a drug deactivation and disposal system.
Plaugher said a new addition to this year’s recovery walk is the produce stand. She said recovery is about mind, body and spirit, and what you’re putting into your body is an important part of the process. Cathy Harper, with Straight Path for Washington County, said thanks to the grants they were able to provide fresh produce to the youth and families at the event.
“It’s really about getting kids to make healthy choices and think about what they’re putting in their bodies, and it all starts with food.” she said. “We recognize that recovery and treatment are very important, so it’s a continuum of care.”
Carri Holloway, a participant, said recovery is important to her so she can help show others that it is possible. She said healing was possible for her through her relationship with Jesus and the help of Angel’s Harbor, a faith-driven treatment facility in Vincent.
“I’ve been using since I was 12,” she said. “I didn’t know Jesus until about two years ago and I didn’t really take (healing) seriously until I came to Angel’s.”
Jasmine Fluharty, in attendance, has supported a family member during their recovery as a healthier way to grow their relationship. Fluharty explained that her family has been using methamphetamines for 25 years. Fluharty said that she herself has previously used to have a relationship with said family member, to get attention from them and “fits” with their friends. She said her experience was so traumatic that she will never use again.
“It’s nice to have a relationship like that, especially if she’s doing well and I’m really proud of her.” she said. “She finally got it in her mind that I needed help and she needed healing. For her to admit that, it’s like the biggest step in recovery, admitting you have a problem.”
Fluharty said she was glad to be at the event and that people in recovery should get out and exercise more to help keep their minds busy and stay off drugs.
Doug Terrell, marketing manager with Wendy’s, said he participated in the recovery walk to help support the Washington County Straight Path. Terell said recovery has a special place in his heart because he has hired several people in recovery to work at local Wendy’s restaurants. He said two of his employees rose to management positions.
“We’re always looking for good people and we’ve found that there are really good people out there, they just need the opportunity.” he said. “The two I’m talking about, both in the last two years, bought a new car.” he said.
Terrell mentioned that one of the two employees regained custody of their daughter and are in the process of buying a home.
“It makes me feel good” he said.
James Dobbs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave a Reply