The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, the Regional Health Council, and partner non-profit organization Pirate Springs, of Cleveland, invite the public to attend the area’s largest recovery event, being held Saturday from 4-9 p.m. at the Camp Jordan Park’s amphitheater in East Ridge.
The free event will feature recovery comedian Bob Perkell and a concert by local music artists Matt Butler and Mountain Creek House Fire. Food trucks will be on hand and several restaurant options are nearby. A treasure hunt map featuring supportive local businesses can be found here and gets participants into a drawing for door prizes (see website for rules).
The event’s goal is to celebrate those in recovery and to show those who are looking for help that there is a way out of addiction. People with experience in recovery and treatment will be available to talk to anyone wishing to know more about how to get help. The event also seeks to break down the stigma that addiction is a hopeless condition by bringing together people in long term recovery.
“The hardest part of getting help is admitting you have a substance abuse problem,” said Dr. Tom Miller of the Regional Health Council and pain management specialist. “Addiction is usually signaled by using drugs even when you don’t want to, isolation, and obsession with getting, using, or running out of drugs or other substances.”
Some drug addiction facts for Hamilton County:
In 2015 there were 59 overdose deaths
In 2015 there were 361 nonfatal overdoses resulting in inpatient hospitalization
In 2016 there were 388,506 painkiller prescriptions; that’s a little over one prescription for every man, woman, and child in Hamilton County
While the local numbers for 2016 for Hamilton County have not yet been compiled, the State as a whole saw a 12 percent increase in overdose deaths.
Additional data on overdosing and drug prescribing can be found on the Tennessee Department of Health’s new Drug Overdose Dashboard.
Those seeking help can check out the Health Department’s Local Recovery Resource Guide, featuring businesses and organizations offering options for treatment, housing, employment, 12-step meetings, even yoga for recovery. If you or someone you know has an addiction problem of any kind, call the Tennessee RedLine to get connected to help, 800-889-9789.