HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville non-profit Not One More Alabama hosted its fourth annual “End Addiction HSV” walk on Saturday.
For mothers Micheala Phillips and Darby Taylor, attending the walk is about remembering their sons. Phillips’ son Tyler and Taylor’s son Zack both died of fentanyl overdoses.
“These were good kids,” Phillps said.
Taylor encouraged parents who suspect their children might be using drugs to have a conversation with them.
“Do something, if you have that little bit of suspicion or a gut feeling, because it can happen to anybody,” she said.
Event organizer Shannan Roberts says the goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction, so that people aren’t ashamed to ask for help.
“When somebody is addicted to a substance, they feel so isolated and alone,” Roberts said. “They don’t want to reach out, even to family members, because they don’t want anyone to see that they’re suffering. They feel like they’re flawed, which they’re absolutely not, they’re suffering from a disease.”
Local addiction resource organizations were on hand to provide information for families and those needing treatment. Free NARCAN training and distribution was also available.
But for Phillips and Taylor, one of the best parts of the event is the sense of community they get from being around families who have gone through similar experiences.
“You meet people. You come together. And those that have been through it a little bit long, we’re here to support and love on those that it’s a little more fresh. And let them know, you’re gonna make it. You will get through this,” Phillips said.