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Hands Across the Bridge: Unity the recovery community needs

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September is National Recovery Month to bring awareness to substance abuse, treatment and mental health. To commemorate this, local organizations band together to put on, Hands Across the Bridge. an event to help break the stigma of addiction and recovery.

Dozens of people met at Brackenbury Square for the event. The event features speakers, who shared their stories, one was Jeremy Waits. "I was asked to speak, and I just have a passion because I've been to that point of hopelessness, I just thought this is how I was always going to be, and I didn't have any hope."

Jeremy said he knows what it's like to struggle with addiction. "I was raised with an alcoholic father, dysfunctional family. My coping skill was drugs and alcohol." He said drugs and alcohol numbed him to the problems in his life. "But then it got to a point where I didn't think I could get clean and sober,” he explained, “I realized this was going to be the death of me and I was all right with that."

After stints in prison he learned his life was worth it. "People say you have to hit rock bottom, but I hit so many rock bottoms, I grabbed a shovel and started digging more,” Jeremy said. “But it got to a point where the pain out weighted the pleasure and change had to happen."

Now he is over three years sober, and volunteers with recovery centers to help others struggling with addiction.

He said seeing all everyone coming together for Hands Across the Bridge, shows the unity the recovery community needs. "A lot of these people, in the midst of my addiction, would have been enemies, but now you see so many people from so many walks of life, we're seeing the same common goal, and it is life."

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