Sussex Goes Purple - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Goes Purple

Posted: Sep 11, 2018 11:01 PM -04:00 Updated:
Sussex Goes Purple (Photo WBOC) Sussex Goes Purple (Photo WBOC)

GEORGETOWN, Del. - Another county has jumped on the purple bandwagon to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic that is taking over Delmarva. 

Hundreds of people gathered at Crossroads Community Church in Georgetown to learn about opioid addiction. 

Peggy Geisler, executive director of Sussex Health Coalition, said the movement is unifying the community in more ways than she expected. She said she hopes this continues to inspire other counties like it did her own. 

"Everyone can name someone they know who's loved ones have been affected by substance abuse or addiction," Geisler said. "It affects all of us." 

Geisler said she wants to deliver a message to at least one person who needs to hear it. 

"There are a lot of people suffering and if we lighten a load and give some direction and we help someone feel more hopeful then we know we have done our job," Geisler said. 

Guest speaker Chris Herren, former NBA Basketball player shares his story about his journey through addiction. 

Herren ignited his own campaign, The Purple Project, that goes hand in hand with Sussex goes purple. Herren speaks from experience, he said he wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Narcan which is an emergency medication used to reverse an overdose. 

WBOC asked Herren if he regrets where he's been.

"Life's too good to worry about the past," Herren said. "Of course I have regret and guilt but it's motivation for me to wake up in the morning and make sure it never happens again." 

Herren and others are fighting against the stigma that comes with addiction. He believes preventing substance abuse starts at a young age, in school. 

"I think we have to put a curriculum within our school system that starts in kindergarten, not necessarily on drugs, but on wellness in general," Herren said. 

Geisler said that events like this one are there to help not only the addict learn but also those people supporting addicts. 

 

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