By Andrea Tritschler
The 10 am crowd on Saturday, September 13 was reserved but electric. They were all here for the same thing—to raise awareness for recovery. They sat on lawn chairs, stood in small groups and with loved ones in the empty lot next to the Milwaukee Alano Club. Despite the less than warm weather, enthusiasm radiated with each round of applause.
Jennifer Kube, Milwaukee Walk for Recovery Organizer, spoke about her journey of addiction with a lot of self-deprecation and with thanks to her support system.
“I see the world as I see it, and I need you guys to keep me accountable,” Kube said.
She continued her story as more people gathered in the small lot to listen, buy t-shirts, and share their message by sharing their handprint. Hosted by Milwaukee 4 Recovery, people were encouraged to create a square for the recovery quilt, which has been growing since the walk began six years ago.
“Recovery is possible. I’m here, I’m recovered,” Kube said.
After the speech, participants were chatty. Discussing personal stories about where they are at in life, what lead them here, and how they are doing with their recovery. The environment was supportive of such talk; you are amongst friends, family, and community. And that’s what organizers wanted- to raise awareness and reduce the societal stigma of addiction.
The Walk for Recovery kicked off National Recovery Month in Milwaukee, in celebration of service providers, supporters, those in recovery, and those who struggle with recovery everyday.
They also had some encouraging news to celebrate. On Monday, September 8, Council Chamber President Michael Murphy announced that this fall, in partnership with the Milwaukee Substance Abuse Coalition, the Milwaukee County Police Department in District Three and District Six will offer citizens a way to dispose of unwanted, unused, or unneeded prescription medications.
Although the county is still working on limitations to the drop-off sites, it will be a free and anonymous service, accepting a variety of different medications ranging from tablets and capsules to liquid medications.
“Let’s not keep the stigma out there. For the community and for recovery!”