ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Various community organizations came together at the Treatment Works Recovery Rally and March with a common message. Treatment works and recovery is possible.
“Treatment works” chanted Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple along with crowd of supporters.
About 300 people were in attendance today, K-9s and cops alike joined in on the festivities.
There was a banner competition the event, one from the Addiction Recovery Centers of Albany that displayed superheroes from winning first prize.
Despite the fun and games there was a serious undertone. The size of the crowd was testament to how many lives the disease of addiction has touched in the Capital Region.
Edward Bittig from Schenectady County is nearing 50 years of sobriety from alcohol — and as he jokes — jelly donuts. He says his recovery has come full circle.
“I could not ask for a better life. I was recently honored by mothers against drunk drivers. A former drunk driver was honored by mothers against drunk drivers!” he said.
Arthur Williams from New York City, has been sober for a dozen years.
“What helps me to stay clean is the network of people that I have in my life that is clean. encourage me to stay clean and I want to do better in my life” said Williams.
But Albany county sheriff Craig Apple says more work is ahead, like doubling the 4 ounce Narcan dosage provided to first responders.
“Most of the officers that are on the street fighting this every day have to give multiple doses. So what we’re trying to do is get an 8 ounce bottle out there. They make it, but it seems to come down to money and contracts.”
A common theme expressed Thursday from those in recovery was “one day at a time” in overcoming their struggle.