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The Road to Recovery: El Paso experts celebrate progress of former addicts

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Substance abuse disorder and mental health struggles often go hand-in-hand, according to the National Insitutes of Health.

To get off a substance is a trying process -- which is why a group of local recovery supporters are gathering together to celebrate the progress of those in recovery.

MedMark is sponsoring the "Ride the Path to Recovery" event tomorrow morning at their location on Alameda Avenue. They're a treatment center which provides group therapy, methadone, counseling and other addiction recovery services.

ABC-7 was given a tour of the location on Alameda, where staff said they were focused on a comfortable and respectful environment for their clients.

Addiction is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2020, more than 20 million Americans were diagnosed with some level of substance use disorder (SUD). The most extreme version of SUD is addiction.

Out of that 20 million, just about 10% received a treatment for SUD concerns, and the NIDA says approximately 70,000 people died of drug overdoses alone.

President Joe Biden declared September "National Recovery Month," as a time to recommit and recognize the need to prevent substance abuse -- and help those trying to recover.The President called on citizens, companies and the government to work together with nonprofits and community groups to promote recovery for those facing use disorders.

The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics says roughly 3% of adults with an SUD also have a mental illness.

In the one of the most recent reviews of drug addiction recovery, the NCDA found 19 million Americans over age 12 needed SUD treatment in 2018.

About 400,000 went on to get treatment, and about 159,000 were between ages 12 and 17.

To recognize those in recovery, a number of organizations are gathering together at the Path to Recovery event. There'll be games with prizes, motorcycle exhibits, service organizations offering their support, food and music.

It starts on Friday, Sept. 22nd, at 9 a.m. at the MedMark Treatment Center at 6111 Alameda Ave., in El Paso.

Groups part of the celebration include Emergence Health; Project Vida; Alivaine, Inc.; Punto de Partida; Casa Vida; the Consulate General of Mexico and the San Vincente Clinic.

MedMark wants the event on Friday to be a chance to celebrate, obtain information about services and welcome everyone to a judgment free space to celebrate the work done so far.

Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up

Article Topic Follows: Be Mindful

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