‘Tribute to Courage and Recovery’ happening Tuesday

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:05 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The drug epidemic continues to hit Mississippi, but some organizations are working to try and help those struggling with addiction.

Fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin, as well as a combination of other pharmaceutical drugs, are the main causes of drug-related overdose deaths in the state, according to officials with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

We’re told there have been 359 drug-related overdose deaths in the state so far this year... Some of those happening here in our area.

“The Pine Belt area specifically, we’ve had 10 reported to us in Lamar County, and eight reported to us in Forrest County and Pearl River County with 24,” said MS Bureau of Narcotics Director Col. Steven Maxwell.

As the numbers trend upward, several organizations are fighting to raise awareness about addiction. Multiple faith-based and recovery-focused organizations are gathering Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Jackie Dole Community Center for the 6th Annual ‘Tribute to Courage and Recovery’ event.

“The purpose of this program is more to honor those that were lost and support those that are living and finding their recovery...,” said event organizer James Moore. “There will be a chance to come out and honor those that have lost their lives to addiction. A chance to come out and light a candle in their memory and to speak their name.”

Moore started the event in 2016 after his son died from a drug overdose.

“When we lost our son in 2015, I was talking to my wife and I said, ‘You know... if he had died of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, there would be plenty of events in this community where we could come out and release balloons, light candles, walk-in circles to honor him.’ But because he died an addict, there was nothing to commemorate that struggle. And that’s why we put this together for those lost lives,” Moore said.

We’re told groups such as Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services, plus Clear View Recovery Center will be there offering resources. People recovering from addiction are also attending and will share personal testimonies.

“We will have a person in recovery telling her story of recovery. We will have a couple of local faith leaders that minister to the recovery community, and they will be speaking briefly as well,” Moore said.

‘Tribute to Courage and Recovery’ is a free event.

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