Recovering addicts shared their poignant and often tearful stories on Saturday during a Not One More Addiction Overdose Awareness rally.
Held at Lazybrook Park in Tunkhannock, the event also featured information from various groups on what support is available for individuals suffering from drug addiction as well as what their families can do in such situations.
The event also featured presentations on Narcan administration, and a self-defense by a group called Damsels in Distress.
“We’re here to help shatter the stigma of addiction,” co-organizer Liz DeWolfe explained. “We’re reaching to let people know about addiction. We want people to know we’re here to help.”
This came across most forcefully from the people who spoke about dealing with their addictions and recoveries.
Jennifer Hauber, who is originally from Tunkhannock, told a painful story about being treated for several serious medical problems - including removal of her thyroid, a double mastectomy for breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Each time she was given prescription medication to help her recovery, and each time she became more addicted to them.
Hauber said she was a teacher in the area, and managed to function for a while. But eventually, it caught up with her. In 2012, she was called into the principal’s office and informed she was being put on suspension.
Hauber was sent down to a recovery clinic in Florida.
“My one concern was I hope they don’t put me in the same room as the drug addicts,” she said.
Eventually, she was weaned off the drugs, and returned home sober.
Another poignant story was told by Alexis Johnson of Harrisburg, originally from Lackawanna County. A recovering addict, Johnson has seen 12 of her friends die of drug overdoses.
“The last one was my best friend, just two months ago,” she explained. “I told her don’t die, not here. Don’t use drugs. She said I’m not going to die. Those were the last words we spoke before she died.”
Hip-hop artist Teelow Lopez shared a letter he wrote in rhyme, urging people to come together in the fight against illicit drug use. He pointed out that more people have died because of drug overdoses than those who were killed in the Vietnam War.
Celeste Kranick of the Addict’s Mom of Laceyville, who helped organize the event, said that people need to come together to fight drug addiction and illicit drug use.
“Everybody needs to provide support because it affects everyone,” she said.
STAFF PHOTO/C.J. MARSHALL
An enthusiastic crowd attended the Not One More rally at Lazybrook Park on Saturday to hear presentations on how to obtain help concerning illicit drug use.
Hip-hop artist Teelow Lopez gives a presentation in rhyme about how people should come together to help stop people dying from illegal drugs.