Event aims to build awareness of the stigma of drug addictions
About 43 different organizations from Alberta and B.C. were represented at Calgary's Recovery Day event.
Dozens of organizations from Alberta and B.C. set up booths in Calgary's Poppy Plaza on Sunday to help support those struggling with addictions.
The goal of Recovery Day, now in its seventh year, is to challenge perceptions people have about addiction and help those who are working to overcome their obstacles.
Organizers of the event say five million Canadians are still living in recovery and still aren't ready to openly talk about their issues.
Through initiatives like Recovery Day, they hope that changes.
"We recognize there are a lot of people that are suffering and appreciate what that looks like," says organizer Heather Nicol. "I’ve been in that situation myself and we don’t want people to stay in pain, the message of recovery is so important so people know you don’t have to live in that pain."
Sheldon Bailey, who also helped with the event, says many of them have gone through true ordeals as a result of their addiction.
"There’s some of us that thought we probably wouldn’t be here either [and] there’s many of us that have overdosed before that have managed to live a better life in sobriety."
Alberta's minister of Mental Health and Addictions also attended Sunday's event and declared September as Recovery Month.