Recovery Walk 2016 - Hundreds rally for recovery

Dublin, 13 September 2016

Hundreds of people joined the 5 th Annual Recovery Walk and Family Day which took place in Dublin on 10 September 2016 to celebrate recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The walk was one of a number of recovery walks taking place around the world to promote and support recovery and help remove the stigma surrounding addiction. It was jointly hosted by Recovery Walk Ireland and the Recovery Academy of Ireland.

The walk was formally launched by Fergus McCabe of Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign who spoke of his admiration at the numbers who turned out for the walk, particularly the numbers of young people in recovery.

“This event sends out a clear message of hope and shows what is possible to people stuck in addiction, their families, communities and the services they work with,” said Barry Costello of Recovery Walk Ireland. “It spreads the message that treatment is effective and recovery from addiction is a reality in millions of people’s lives.

The Irish Recovery Walk along the River Liffey to the Garda Boat Club in Islandbridge was followed by an afternoon of music, entertainment and children’s activities. Speakers who are in recovery themselves shared their experiences of recovery and hopes for the future.

“There is a recovery community out there who become your recovery family. What I have today I couldn’t have dreamed off five years ago. I have got my family back, taken up education and got work. I also have a home,” said Maria, one of those who attended. The not-for-profit, free event was aimed at people in recovery, their families, friends, neighbours, and the voluntary, community and statutory groups which work with them.

“Society is not always compassionate towards addiction or understanding of the courage it takes to recover from dependency,” Costello said. “Recovery Walk Ireland wants to challenge this and show that recovery is possible. We also believe that recovery must be part of Ireland’s new National Drug and Alcohol Strategy to be published in 2017.”

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The International Recovery Walk movement began in the USA almost 30 years ago. It has since spread to the UK, Australia, Ireland and other countries. The walks and associated events celebrate recovery from all addictions – alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating, sex, and so on. Tens of thousands of people around the world take part in these walks which are a beacon of hope for people and families trapped in the spiral of addiction.

Image courtesy of Ray Hegarty