Facing Addiction, a new, national organization that hopes to serve as a voice for the over 85 million Americans impacted by addiction, recently announced a major rally — the “UNITE to Face Addiction” — a free event that will take place on the National Mall on Sunday, October 4, 2015. At the rally, Facing Addiction, along with over 450 diverse organizations from around the country, will launch a first-of-its-kind campaign to confront America’s denial about addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
The event will feature musical performances by celebrities and inspirational speakers who have been affected by addiction such as 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; remarks by celebrities, elected officials and other advocates who will join together to change the conversation around, and bring new solutions to, the addiction crisis in America.
“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 recently released PSA in support of the event.
“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, 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.”
Additional performers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.