PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the opioid epidemic expected to claim more than a thousand lives in Philadelphia, this year, nearly 30,000 people are expected to gather at Penn’s Landing, on Saturday, to show there is hope for addicts in the 17th annual “Recovery Walk.”
Raquel will be walking, though it seemed unlikely until 13-months-ago.
“Alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, xanax, crack cocaine, they were my drugs of choice and it landed me in prison,” she said.
Prison proved to be the bottom, the motivation to get sober and now that she is, she wants others to know.
“You don’t have to stay in that darkness forever,” she said. Recovery is possible and it does work.”
It used to be hard to get recovered addicts to come out to such a public event, says organizer Bev Haberle.
“Our first walk had a hundred people in it,” she said.
Haberle says the ever-growing turn-out is a sign of the decreasing stigma.
“It has really helped people feel pride in recovery, she explained.
That includes Raquel.
“I’m happy that I’m in a position to be part of the solution because I was part of the problem for a long time.”
The walk begins at 9 a.m. and goes to Independence Historic Park with post-walk festivities at the Great Plaza till 1:30 in the afternoon.