Recovery Rally aims to curb Appalachia addiction epidemic

ROGERSVILLE, TN (WJHL) – Recovery Rally organizer, Douglas Benjamin, has a new attitude on life after overcoming alcoholism.

“That’s over with and you’re alive now, go do something,” Benjamin said.

Law Enforcement, state agencies, churchgoers and more made up the crowd. Including local state representative, Gary Hicks who is passionate about a recently passed Bill 871 aimed at helping those who suffer from a drug overdose and are too afraid to report it.

“If someone needs medical assistance because of an overdose they are allowed to make contact with medical authorities without repercussions of being arrested for that particular instance,” State Representative for Hawkins/Hancock County Gary Hicks said.

An active bill that can send addicts in the right direction.

“We need jobs in this area, I think it all starts with people being able to feel like they’re contributing to society,” Hicks said. 

A Johnson City based clinic also came out to represent a niche group facing addiction, pregnant women.

“They have the support through the whole entire pregnancy, the doctor, the counselor and the case manager sit in that group with these ladies and help them find resources and we do our best to not have an NAS child,” Executive Director of High Point Clinic, Deanna Irick said.

NAS or Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a common product of an opiate addicted mother. Irick says these women need to come to their clinic quicker.

 “The stigma is so great that a lot of the women we get, we don’t get them until their sixth or seventh month,” Irick said.

A variety of people all in Rogersville City Park for a common goal, to help end the overdose epidemic in the Tri-Cities and around the region.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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