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Addiction recovery 'out loud': National group Mobilize Recovery launches tour in Louisville

Five people sit together in front of a blue backdrop as they discuss how to help more Kentuckians recover from addiction. A screen near them reads 'Mobilize Recovery Kentucky.'
Morgan Watkins
Louisville Public Media
Five people sit together on a discussion panel about the harm reduction and addiction recovery work happening in Kentucky. They were part of a local event hosted by the national group Mobilize Recovery, which kicked off its regional tour across America in Louisville Friday.

Mobilize Recovery, a national initiative that encourages community-based solutions to drug addiction, held the first stop of its 2023 regional tour in Louisville.

People smiled and applauded throughout Friday’s gathering at The Healing Place’s Women’s Campus. They celebrated the harm reduction work that groups already are doing in this community and discussed ways to help more Kentuckians recover from substance use disorder.

Ryan Hampton co-founded Mobilize Recovery. He described it as a network of people impacted by addiction who are focused on solving America’s drug overdose crisis.

“We convene community meetings like this locally, regionally and nationally to have these important discussions because we believe that the people who are closest to the problem also happen to be closest to the solution,” he said.

The organization will host meetings like the one it held Friday in other towns across the country, leading up to its annual conference in Washington, D.C. this September.

Louisville was a natural choice of location to kick off their tour, Hampton said. The city, and the state of Kentucky, have advanced innovative solutions to save lives and help more people recover from addiction.

He cited efforts to create recovery-friendly workplaces and said groups here have put people in recovery at the forefront of offering support to other people with substance use disorder.

“We have just seen some phenomenal progress in this state in the last couple of years, and I think people have been inspired by it,” he said. “And it’s one of the reasons we wanted to be here.”

At Friday’s gathering, several people were recognized as new Kentucky Colonels for their efforts in harm reduction and recovery. Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, also provided training on digital tools organizations can use to support the work they do.

During Friday’s gathering, people talked about the power of recovering “out loud.”

“We need more voices at the table,” said Tara Hyde, CEO of the local organization People Advocating Recovery.

Hyde has been in recovery for 12 years and was part of a discussion panel Friday. She and others shared their experiences with addiction and talked about the work they do now to help other Kentuckians.

“And I encourage everybody here and anybody who’s listening to do the same thing…Share your story. Bring people with you,” she said. “You’re going to be more powerful. There’s power in numbers.”

Morgan is LPM's health & environment reporter. Email Morgan at mwatkins@lpm.org.

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