‘I’m ready to live’: Hundreds of people gather in Downtown Portland for Walk for Recovery

Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 10:32 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Cathy McInnis’s daughter Katie died two years ago from an alcohol addiction.

“She struggled with it for a number of years,” she said. “She loved helping the homeless and giving to others. She was just the kindest human being.”

Research from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows Oregon ranks second in the country for addiction but is last in access to addiction treatment, which is why McInnis sent her daughter to California to get help.

SEE ALSO: Oregon Health Authority provides update on Measure 110 funding for addiction recovery

“When you’re 50th in access to treatment facilities, where’s the help? Where do you go? They’re full, there’s no beds, wait a week, wait two weeks, ‘call us again,’” McInnis said.

Oregon Recovers is a non-profit that raises awareness about the gaps in Oregon’s healthcare for people dealing with addiction and especially the number of deaths related to alcohol addiction.

The Oregon Health Authority said every year over 2,000 people die from excessive drinking.

SEE ALSO: Study finds Oregon ranks 2nd in country for addiction, last in treatment

On Saturday, Oregon Recovers hosted a Walk for Recovery to help build community and bring people in recovery and their families together. At least 300 people gathered in Pioneer Courthouse Square and wrote on signs saying “I chose life” or honoring those they’re walking for.

Melissa Sumaya said she has been clean for more than three weeks, and events like these help her on her journey to recovery.

“I was in my addiction for 11 years,” Sumaya said. “I was in denial and I’m ready to live. [This is] going to be a moment in my journey personally that I’m never going to forget. Just not being alone. Being in addiction you feel alone.”