Featuring Performances from Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, The Fray,
John Rzeznik and More
Rally Will Mark “The Day the Silence Ends” for the 1 in 3 US Households Impacted by Addiction
BOSTON – Community Catalyst is proud to join over 450 local, state and national organizations at the “UNITE to Face Addiction” rally, a free event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, October 4, 2015. This coalition will launch a first-of-its-kind campaign to confront America’s denial about one of the most urgent health crises facing our nation today – addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The rally is being planned by Facing Addiction, a new organization dedicated to changing the conversation around, and bring new solutions to, the addiction crisis in America.
The event will feature musical performances by Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler with his Nashville-based band, Loving Mary, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, The Fray, and John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls; powerful, inspirational speakers from all walks of life who have been affected by addiction; and remarks by celebrities, elected officials and other advocates who will join together to stand up to addiction.
“Together we must find solutions to the addiction crisis and put a face on the hope that survivors offer,” said health expert and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz, in a PSA released today in support of the event. In addition to Dr. Oz, other notable individuals who have already embraced and endorsed this event include Congresswoman Mary Bono, Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Author & Activist Christopher Kennedy Lawford, Author & TV Host Pat O’Brien, Entrepreneur and Music Producer Russell Simmons, former Major League Baseball Star Darryl Strawberry, Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, Former Astronaut Steve Oswald and many more.
“UNITE to Face Addiction will mark the first time our nation will collectively stand up to addiction, a health problem that impacts 1 in 3 households,” said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction and a person in long-term recovery. “Twenty-two million Americans are currently suffering from a substance use disorder, far too many of those affected have been incarcerated, and more than 23 million others are living in recovery. When you include the families of the afflicted, addiction impacts over 85 million people – we all know somebody. It’s not ‘those’ people, it’s all of us.”’
“When I lost my son, Austin, to addiction, I had no idea this tragedy was happening all over America – and that in our country, a life is lost to addiction every 4 minutes – the equivalent of a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day, with no survivors,” said Jim Hood, co-founder of Facing Addiction. “We know there are solutions to the addiction crisis and it’s time for America to face addiction and exercise the political and social will to act on those solutions.”
“We support Unite to Face Addiction because consumers across the country desperately need a soup-to-nuts system of prevention, treatment and recovery services to help them get well,” said Alice Dembner, project director for substance use disorders at Community Catalyst, a national health advocacy organization based in Boston. “We will join thousands of others in raising our voices in support of those who suffer from drug and alcohol problems.”
Community Catalyst leads a national project to expand prevention of alcohol and drug problems among young people and works with partners in dozens of states to improve access to quality treatment and recovery services.
There are many ways to get involved with this groundbreaking event. Community Catalyst is sending staff members to attend, and there are various volunteer opportunities available. Supporters can also get involved by donating to end the silence around the addiction crisis by texting FACING to 41444.
Additional performers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information about Facing Addiction, including how to donate and updates about the UNITE to Face Addiction rally, please visit FacingAddiction.org and follow @FacingAddiction and #UNITEtoFaceAddiction on Twitter.
About Facing Addiction
The UNITE to Face Addiction rally is being organized by Facing Addiction Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding solutions to the addiction crisis, as well as an independent coalition of national, state, and local non-profit organizations. For more information, visit FacingAddiction.org.
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable, quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.