RICHLAND, WA - The Benton Franklin Recovery Coalition is hosting their first addiction forum to raise awareness about the resources needed to help treat addicts.
The organization's hope is that having a forum will help educate the community and will start a conversation about resources that we need, such as a detox center or an inpatient facility.
The recovery coalition wants to help the community understand that addiction really is a disease and they hope by starting a conversation about it more people are likely to vote for programs that will help addicts.
"The Tri-Cities really has to address the addiction problem," says Michele Gerber, President of the Benton Franklin Recovery Coalition. "We do have that problem lots of times it's hidden but it's really here and it's affecting our crime rate and all kinds of services that are overburdened."
Michele Gerber President of the organization says her personal connection to addiction is what inspired her to get involved. Her son became an addict as a teenager, they struggled for many years until four years ago he died of his addiction. Now Michele knows things can be done so other people don't have to experience this type of tragedy.
The forum will be focusing on the problem itself, then they will have a person in recovery talk about what it's really like to experience this disease and finally they will move on to the topic of solutions from the law enforcement perspective, treatment providers and psychologists.
The questions they get at the forum are what will help guide the conversation, it's all about what the public wants to know.
The addiction forum will be taking place this evening at the Bethel church in Richland starting at 7:00 p.m. Anyone is invited to attend.
The Benton Franklin Recovery Coalition hopes to start having these at least twice a year.