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Community Outreach – Establishing Unity in Confronting Addiction

Encouraging activism toward confronting addiction, A Forever Recovery sponsored the 135th Annual Session of the National Baptist Convention

As we constantly search for solutions to the problems presented to us by daily life, we realize that every person in every community across our nation, from the largest cities to the smallest rural populations, is affected in some way by many different things. But, perhaps no issue is as widespread and destructive to the fabric of modern society as addiction.

Substance abuse runs rampant in every aspect of our culture. In fact, in affects the entertainment industry, including actors, musicians, professional athletes, stand-up comics, and more. From the business and professional world to even our young students and educators as well.  Drugs and alcohol take a toll on the lives of millions.

AFR Confronting Addiction Everyday

For this reason, A Forever Recovery is always in search of different ways to reach out to other groups and organizations.  Together they can improve society, spreading our message of a healthier and safer world for all of us.

Throughout the year, we seek out various ways that we can help make a difference in the lives of others. Of course, our main priority is always the treatment of individuals that are struggling with addiction.  But, we realize that there are many more opportunities for us to make a difference in the world. Community outreach has long been a part of our philosophy.

Building Strong Communities for our Youth

In early September of 2015, representatives from A Forever Recovery, including founder Per Wickstrom, traveled to Memphis, TN, to participate in the 135th Annual Session of the National Baptist Convention. The convention was held mainly at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.  The conference focused on building strong communities and ensuring the future of our nation’s youth.

The conference lasted from September 7th through the 11th. Hundreds of people attended the conference each day.  Attendees discussed some of our culture’s most pressing issues, from health initiatives to social equality and everything in between.  The group also examined some of the potential solutions to the problems posed by these matters. All in all, our participation in the convention concentrated primarily on raising awareness about substance abuse in our nation today.  Of course, educating the public on the dangers of substance abuse, and the options available in treatment is a good effort.

Opportunities to Spread Addiction Awareness and Education

Additionally, AFR sponsored the Baptist Convention conference, which gave Mr. Wickstrom the opportunity to address attendees. Since overcoming his own substance abuse issues, he has made confronting addiction his life’s work.  He hopes to help others in finding the path to recovery from addiction.

This includes doing all that he can to educate people on substance abuse at every opportunity.  Mr. Wickstrom took full advantage of this opportunity. He spoke at the conference “Welcoming Luncheon” on the first day of the event.  Next, he hosted a seminar at the nearby Methodist University Hospital on the second day. He also had the opportunity to sit with some of the leadership of the National Baptist Convention.  They enjoyed some one-on-one discussions about addiction, recovery, and education.

Encouraging People to Get Involved

At the Welcoming Luncheon on September 7th, Mr. Wickstrom shared some of his passion and the reasons for choosing substance abuse rehabilitation as his life’s work. “As a young man who had a problem, I was shown the light, and I was able to get off of drugs,” he told the audience. His own victory over addiction gives him hope that our society can overcome our drug and alcohol problems, because, as he sees it, if he can do it, anybody can do it.

“We have 200 individuals a day die from addiction,” Mr. Wickstrom continued, further emphasizing the need for people to reach out for help. “Last year, we had 44,000 people die from opiate addiction, from pills and heroin.” He also talked about a campaign called S.A.F.E. – Stopping Addiction with Family Education. Over the years, we have discovered that no tool is more effective in overcoming drug and alcohol abuse than education.

September 8th saw Mr. Wickstrom speaking at a substance abuse health initiative seminar held at the Methodist University Hospital in downtown Memphis, not far from the Cook Convention Center. This time, he concentrated more on sharing statistical information and encouraging people to raise awareness in their communities about the state of addiction in today’s culture, particularly with our youth. “People don’t know that in the 5th grade, you have heroin addicts,” he said, surprising many of those in attendance. “Our FDA just approved oxycodone for 11-year-olds. There are 250 million prescriptions written for Xanax every year.”

Fighting for a Safer and More Positive World

Often, especially in the case of drugs that have been prescribed by a doctor, the general public does not view medication as a possible source of substance abuse. However, in recent years, we have seen a tremendous upswing in the number of cases being admitted into A Forever Recovery that either abuse prescription drugs or began down the path to addiction with medications.

“As a society, we have kind of closed a blind eye to it, and it needs to be brought up in the public viewpoint so that people realize that we’ve got to do something about confronting addiction,” Wickstrom continued, encouraging community outreach and prevention education for confronting addiction. “The youth is where we need to concentrate, on the 7-12-year-olds, because by the time they’re age 7 to the time they’re age 12, they will have tried marijuana. They will have tried alcohol.”

At A Forever Recovery, we have made a commitment to promoting education on addiction. Also, we’re committed to finding possible solutions to these problems, including effective professional substance abuse treatment programs. Join us as we fight for a safer and more positive world. Let’s encourage community outreach and activism against drugs and alcohol.  We will be a part of building a more productive society and be a source of light for a brighter tomorrow.

Check out all three videos here:

 

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