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Hundreds rally for addiction and recovery support in Albany

Hundreds rally for addiction and recovery support in Albany

ALBANY (WRGB) – Hundreds of people converged on the state capital Tuesday for the 9th annual Stand Up For Recovery Day, hosted by Friends of Recovery New York.

Recovering addicts, family members who lost a loved one, and advocates marched and chanted in front of the capitol building. They yelled “we’re in recovery and we vote”.

“We're going make an effort to really get our arms around this horrible epidemic.” Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, the commissioner of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) said.

They’re calling on their elected lawmakers to invest in treatment and recovery services.

“There's this horrific epidemic that's going on, but the solution to the problem of this pandemic is to invest in prevention treatment and recovery support services.” Stephanie Campbell, the Executive Director for Friends of Recovery New York said. “We have a number of asks we're going to be speaking to our lawmakers about, there's a wonderful surcharge that's being proposed we want to see that money go directly, solely into treatment, prevention, and recovery.”

They're also pushing for educational programs, support centers, emergency protocols, and more. Their goal is to put more resources in each community across the state.

“If the resources aren’t out there when our loved ones finally get to a point where they are ready to receive the help for their disease, they are often met with road obstacles and road blocks along the way.” Lisa Bennett from Hopewell Junction, New York said. She and her family, including her sister Nancy King from Troy, rallied for Bennett’s son Jeffery, who lost his battle with addiction a little over a year ago. “They have a brief window of opportunity, and that brief window of opportunity needs to be seized at that particular moment, if it’s not seized at that particular moment, you're going to lose them, it's just what happened to my family.”

The group says they want their message to be heard loud and clear – recovery is possible.

To learn more about Friends of Recovery of New York go to: https://www.for-ny.org/

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