In week 2 of the Hope Dealer series, Ed McDonough, a person in long-term recovery and the CEO of GateHouse Treatment of New Hampshire, hosts with his guest, Darlene Pina. Darlene is the founder of Awareness is Healing foundation, who hosts the annual Awareness is Healing Walk in New Hampshire to raise awareness and dialogue about the ongoing opioid epidemic in the state.
Darlene Pina discusses the importance of the walk and the purpose behind it. Why did she start walking to bring awareness? Her story talks about her encounter with a woman in active addiction who asked her for money. She didn’t know how severe the addiction problem was, especially in her small town in New Hampshire.
From there, Ed and Darlene talk about participating in recovery. GateHouse Treatments’ motto is to participate in recovery, whether you are a recovering addict or not. The important part of Darlene’s story is turning the negatives into positives. Instead of saying she has nothing to do with “those people,” she chose to DO something.
Her positive action and her want to be a part of the solution is the attitude more people need to have in coming together and finding positive intentions to the problem. The 5th annual walk was held in Nashua this year, supported by the mayor of Nashua, NH. The main idea in this is that anyone can support. The event has opportunities for people to show up and support the efforts regardless of if anyone can walk or not. There are vendors, speakers, as well as a walk right to city hall (3-mile walk).
“There is a need for more leaders, and attention to be brought to this cause. For every male or female that dies as a result of this disease, there is a whole ripple of people that are affected as a result.”