Photos: Recovery Day in Vancouver celebrates those who overcame drug and alcohol addiction
This afternoon, I wandered down to the Vancouver Art Gallery to offer some moral support to the folks who've taken up the challenge of freeing themselves from drugs and booze.
It's the second annual Recovery Day in Vancouver, which was cofounded by broadcaster and author David Berner and the Orchard Recovery Centre's AnnMarie McCullough and Lorinda Strang.
"The vision we have is to eradicate the stigma and build awareness around recovery and celebrate recovery," McCullough told Straight health writer Gail Johnson in an interview earlier this year.
The event culiminated in a march through downtown Vancouver (see below).
Berner is best known for his cable television show and his former talk show on CKNW Radio.
But in his younger days in 1967, he founded the X-Kalay Foundation in Vancouver, which helped innumerable people recover from addiction, including many former prison inmates.
Its Manitoba chapter continues to this day, known as the Behavioural Health Foundation.
Berner, executive director of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada, chronicled his experiences running Canada's oldest residential drug-treatment centre in his recent book, All the Way Home.
It's a rollicking read, as well as a tough-minded look at the proliferation of illicit drugs.
It also includes numerous pointers on what must be done to free people from the clutches of addiction.