A&E Recovery Rally – Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Today was the 2nd annual recovery rally, sponsored by A & E television network. A gathering of an estimated 10,000 people walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to celebrate recovery. It was a great public advocacy event bringing together the entire bouquet of humanity a whole range of recovering people, treatment providers and the best part, politicians. Karen Carpenter Palumbo, commissioner of OASAS led the political delegation that included Felix Ortiz, Marty Markowitz and Gil Kerlikowske the drug czar. As critical as I have been at times of Gil, it was an amazing thing to see him participate in the event. He seemed to enjoy the company of actress Kristen Johnston, but more importantly, he came, as did Governor Patterson. This was a great day in the community-organizing world of treatment and recovery. In the past, the idea that any drug czar would have been there is absurd. Hard to imagine Barry McCaffree marching across the Brooklyn bridge with 1,500 people currently in treatment at Phoenix house. No the war on drugs seldom includes recovering from drug abuse and addiction, politicians don’t like this issue. I have talked to them and the common theme is “addicts don’t vote”. No, no they don’t.
It is estimated that one addict impacts the lives of 100 people which is why I believe addiction is the #1 public health crisis and should be given the attention for the politicos that it needs. Thanks, Karen, Marty, Felix, Gov Patterson and Gil, (the best drug czar ever)! It was a great step for addicts, families and communities to show the importance of recovery.