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San Fernando Valley Rally for Recovery and March

by James Heller 15. September 2009 13:57
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is participating in Recovery Month 2009, in part, with articles about recovery during the month of September.  Most individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction begin their recovery with alcohol and drug treatment.  So it is our pleasure to help bring awareness to the general public about the benefits of recovery to individuals, their families, and everyone with whom they interact.

The San Fernando Valley Rally for Recovery and March was attended by several hundred people in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  It was an effort to bring awareness to the community about recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction in celebration of Recovery Month 2009.  Former child star Johnnie Whitaker (Family Affair, Tom Sawyer, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters) led the proceedings with that same cheeriness that was a reminder of yesteryear.

John welcomed attendees with a short introduction of the agenda, followed by some pre-march cheerleading practice.  The crowd followed along with his chants, and even managed to perform a pretty good “wave”.  He also thanked representatives who were on hand from L.A. City Councilman Tony Cardenas’ office, and read a letter to the crowd from comedian Rip Taylor.  The energy was very positive.

Tony Littlehawk followed John’s welcome with a Native American blessing, with a suggestion that attendees pray to whichever power they prefer.  Afterwards, Tony was asked what he would tell the general public to bring awareness about Native American alcoholism and drug addiction.

“It’s this younger generation that we’ve got to reach, because they’re the future.  And if we don’t straighten them out now, we’re going to have problems with people running the country… We need to show them how serious this is; that <drug use> is not all about having fun.”

Dr. Edward Moore spoke about the science of addiction and the sad fact that those suffering continued to be viewed in a negative light by the general public.

“We have begun to understand some of the neurobiological basis of this disease and one would think that as a result we would also have made leaps and bounds in overcoming its stigmatization, yet our gains seem modest.”

The featured speaker was Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning, Hall of Fame song-writer, singer, producer and actor, Paul Williams ("We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "You and Me Against the World," "An Old Fashioned Love Song" "I Won't Last a Day Without You" and "Let Me Be The One" "The Rainbow Connection", and "Evergreen" from A Star is Born).

“About half of our system of recovery is love and service.  So that’s why we’re here, and to show the world how grateful we are, and that there’s hope for the hopeless.”

One aspect of alcoholism and drug addiction is the insecurity that sufferers feel with themselves.  Mr. Williams drove the point home by explaining his experience, given all of his accomplishments:

“It’s exhausting, explaining things you know nothing about.  I’m no longer a jet pilot.  All the things I lied about being when Paul Williams was loaded.  There was some piece of me inside my chest that it isn’t enough when <I was> on alcohol and drugs.  I became insecure and I’d start lying about who I was.  For me, the biggest change is I’ve really become comfortable with who I am.”

Almost everyone in attendance once battled with alcoholism or drug addiction.  But a passerby could only assume so from the large signs surrounding the rally, and the A.W.A.R.E. t-shirts.  It was a display of what recovery is all about; gently leading individuals out of their own personal hells, and giving them a new way to live.

Smiles were everywhere on the faces of speakers, volunteers, and attendees.  Some attendees listened closely to the speakers, while others milled around and just enjoyed the day, taking in a word of wisdom here or there.  It was probably the most polite rally ever seen on this mall that houses the local IRS offices.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles was honored to play a key role in the organization of this event.  Our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment stretches beyond our doors to the community at large.  After all, the work we do is not only meant to help our patients, but everyone they come in contact with after treatment.

We provide alcohol and drug treatment for adults, youth, women-only, and a culture-specific track for Native Americans.  If you need help with alcoholism or drug addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.