Carter County 4th annual substance abuse memorial offers remembrance, hope

Wulf James-Roby
The Daily Ardmoreite
Members of the Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee at the substance abuse memorial last year. The event will be returning for the fourth time on November 9.

Our communities are all too familiar with the impacts of substance abuse. Many families and individuals in the area have come together to talk about their experiences and remember those lost.  

The Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee (CCSAPC) and collaborators will host the 4th annual memorial program, which will allow Carter County residents to honor the loved ones they have lost to substance abuse and share their stories.  

One area resident who shared his story at a previous memorial is US Coast Guard Veteran Aiden Rushing. “It’s so important to me to share the complexity and variety of how we come to struggle with substance abuse,” Rushing said. “None of us use one time and then suddenly become addicted.”  

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Rushing said sharing his experiences as a disabled Veteran in recovery from opioid abuse gave him an opportunity to share hope for others and made him feel less alone.  

“My journey recovery was the catalyst to healing for me and for relationships with those I love,” Rushing said.  

The 4th Annual Carter County Substance Abuse Memorial is open to the public. Speakers will share how substance abuse has affected their lives. The event will be held in the McClure Chapel at First United Methodist Church in Ardmore, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m on Tuesday, Nov. 9. 

In addition to speakers and music, there will be free food and a candlelight vigil. Attendees will receive information about local resources and can get a free Naloxone (opioid overdose reversal drug) kit until supplies are exhausted. The CCSAPC will practice social distancing and asks that attendees follow the CDC’s recommended guidelines while in attendance. 

For more information on the event or local resources regarding substance abuse, contact Wichita Mountains Prevention Network at (580) 490-9197. Follow the Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee on Facebook for event updates and information regarding substance abuse prevention.