The Addictions & Dependencies Committee of the Regional Health Council and the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department invite all residents to join the recovery community for the second annual Unity on the Bridge. The event seeks to span the length of the bridge by joining hands as a symbolic gesture. The purpose is to reduce the stigma of being in recovery and to provide hope that recovery works and that you are not alone in this journey.
A short message of hope will be delivered from the deck of the Southern Belle riverboat anchored below the bridge.
“The Regional Health Council and its Addictions & Dependencies Committee work to make it easier to get into recovery for those who want it,” said council member and committee chairperson Dr. Thomas Miller, “Just as the recovery community will be joining hands on the bridge, our committee joins community stakeholders and partners together to find solutions to save lives.”
Anyone in recovery, seeking recovery, or any resident is invited to the Unity on the Bridge event.
The event will begin at the north end of the Walnut Street Bridge, near Frazier Avenue on Sunday, at 8 a.m. with coffee, doughnuts, and fellowship.
At 8:45 a.m., the crowd will move toward the center of the bridge and join hands in a long line to hopefully span the length of the bridge.
At 9 a.m., the Southern Belle riverboat will be below with a speaker to deliver a short message and join everyone together in unity with a short prayer.
The bridge will remain open as usual to pedestrian and cycling traffic during the event.
Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Too often, the emphasis is placed on the substances, the overdose numbers, and the torn families. National Recovery Month shifts the perspective to show that addicts can not only break the chains and live in long-term recovery, but also can reach out to help those who are still trapped in addiction.
Unfortunately, the stigma of recovery has many faces. One is that many people still think addiction is a hopeless condition, especially when they see someone relapse. The truth is that many former addicts are productive members of society. For many, it took several quit attempts.
Secondly, doctors who treat addicts and addicts receiving treatment from doctors are also stigmatized. The truth is that medical supervision is not only necessary in many cases but also contributes to a more successful quit attempt.
Lastly, addiction is often stigmatized as a criminal problem. While legal issues and ramifications must be addressed, breaking the cycle of addiction may require professional medical and/or psychological treatment to succeed.
For more information about the Unity on the Bridge event, visit the event Facebook page, or call Marty Walker with Oxford Homes of Tennessee at 985 265-2991.