Thousands walk to change perceptions of drug and alcohol recovery

One of the biggest national events in recent years takes place in Paisley.

Around 4000 people have taken part in one of the biggest alcohol and drugs Recovery Walk events in recent years. 

The organiser, Scottish Recovery Consortium, hoped to change perceptions of those recovering from substance use by holding the procession in Paisley.

Among those attending was Carol Robertson, who joined members of her support group from South Ayrshire.

The walk covered 1.5 miles of Paisley town centre.

She has been in recovery since January and has been dealing with addiction on and off for years “due to trauma”.

“It’s not a choice that I willingly made,” she said.

Carol takes each day one at a time, but was overwhelmed at how she felt in taking part in the event. 

“It gave me butterflies in my stomach, just feeling the buzz from everyone and the joy, the happiness, seeing so many happy, smiley faces,” she said.

“I’m very grateful for my recovery and I’m very grateful for all the support I get.”

Another participant, Lily McEwan, has been in recovery from alcohol addiction for a few years.

She wanted to experience the “atmosphere” of the event. 

“It gives you hope” she said.” “Obviously people have been lost to it, but now you can see the positive of it and it’s good to see so many people enjoying it and being part of it.”

Roses placed in White Cart river remembering those lost to addiction.

As well as the mile-and-a-half procession through Paisley, hundreds of roses were placed in the White Cart river in remembrance of friends and family lost to addiction.

Jardine Simpson, from the Scottish Recovery Consortium, said: “It’s important to have the numbers that we have coming now because addiction issues and recovery from addiction is very often portrayed as a real negative in society. 

“Drug deaths, alcohol deaths, deaths from suicides are trageies but the other side of that coin is that people do recover. 

“People get well and when people get well this is what they’re capable of, bringing joy and connection into their own communities.”

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