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Group rallies to combat addiction in Dayton area

Thousands braved a heat index in the 90s Sunday afternoon to celebrate recovery from addiction in the Miami Valley.

The fifth annual Families of Addicts’ Rally 4 Recovery rally held in downtown Dayton was aimed to destigmatize addiction, celebrate recovery, demonstrate how many local families are impacted, and mobilize the community to pursue solutions.

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The rally featured a balloon launch, raffle drawings, food trucks, face painting, more than 60 resource booths, free Narcan training and the “Big Pic,” an annual photo of all attendees. Keynote speakers for the event were Brandon Novak, professional skateboarder and celebrity featured in MTV’s Jackass movies; and Ryan Hampton, author and founder of The Voices Project.

One year ago, while Families of Addicts and other community organizers held this same event, Christian Zinck said she was probably “getting high.”

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This year, five months into her recovery journey, she proudly wore a Recovery Works shirt that proclaimed “this is what sobriety looks like,” as she hugged friends and those that have helped her reach this point.

“They saved my life,” she said of Recovery Works Healing Center in West Carrollton.

Zinck, 36, is now living in a sober-living home in East Dayton and said she came out to the event to support others in addiction and let them know about the great work being done in the Dayton area.

The goal for the event was to raise $50,000. The money supports the group’s year-round efforts to help families dealing with addiction, connect people to resources and treatment and reduce stigma in the community.

More from The Path Forward addiction crisis coverage:

Opioid addiction resource guide

New challenge for recovering addicts: finding a job

This eatery hires only people recovering from addiction

Mother of 7 rebuilding family after addiction

A day with Dayton’s overdose response team

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