LYNNFIELD — The Think of Michael Foundation and A Healthy Lynnfield are hosting the third annual Night of Hope event in observance of National Recovery Month on Sunday, Sept. 26, beginning at 6 p.m. at Lynnfield Middle School.
This year’s event will feature a walk from the middle school to the Town Common. Kerriann Caccavaro, who is the program director of the Bridge Recovery Center of Malden, will be the ceremony’s guest speaker. State Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) and House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading) will be attending the event.
The tradition of lighting purple votives in remembrance and hope for all those impacted by substance use will continue. A brief blessing by clergy from across the community will end the event.
During National Recovery Month, communities across the country hold local events to celebrate the people’s stories of recovery.
“Both organizations hope to bring the community together to recognize that Lynnfield is not immune to the impact of the opioid crisis,” said Substance Use Prevention Coordinator Peg Sallade in a statement. “This event is focused on the tremendous journey of recovery on which people with substance use disorders embark. By participating, you show your support for those that struggle every day to reclaim their lives from this disease.”
Sallade said the other ways the community can show support for National Recovery Month include wearing purple, which is the color of recovery, in their school or place of business. She also said townspeople can put a bow on their door or a purple light in their window on Sept. 26.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of June 2020, 13 percent of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use as a way of coping with stress or emotions related to COVID-19. The trend has continued, according to the American Medical Association, which reported that more than 40 U.S. states have seen increases in opioid-related mortality along with ongoing concerns for those with substance use disorders.
“Massachusetts has made many gains in addressing the opioid crisis with telehealth and online recovery support, but with the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, it is even more important that we ensure prevention and access to treatment remain a priority,” said Sallade. “This observance reminds us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental health and substance use disorders. When you see the Common decorated with purple bows, flags and lights, remember someone you know with positivity.”
Masks will be available at the event and organizers will follow all current COVID guidelines that may be in place on September 26, 2021.
For more information about the third annual A Night of Hope, residents can contact Think of Michael Foundation President Carmela Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sallade at email@example.com.
The mission of the Think of Michael Foundation is to help individuals and families battling substance use disorder (SUD) and create effective change where change is needed.
A Healthy Lynnfield is a community partnership that aims to empower residents to make positive choices every day by working together in order to prevent substance misuse, to improve the quality of life for those impacted, and to support programs that help all young people thrive.