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Walking To Beat The Stigma Attached To Drug Addiction

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tens of thousands will take over Penn’s Landing on Friday for the annual recovery walk.  While walking their goal is to stop drug overdose deaths by getting more people into recovery.

Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health estimates that 150,000 residents are battling addiction, but less than 20 percent seek help. Last year, 700 people died of drug overdose in Philadelphia- double the number lost to homicide.

Roland Lamb is deputy commissioner for the department of behavior health said there is a misconception.

“Folks have been made to think there is something wrong with them– that they have, you know, a moral issue,” Lamb said.

He said stigma keeps people in hiding, but the truth is addiction is a disease that can be treated.

“People do not have to once they are addicted, stay addicted.”

Lamb said 30,000 people will converge on Penn’s Landing tomorrow for the city’s Recovery Walk.

“It’s very, very important for people to see recovery is possible and they are not alone.”

The Recovery Walk kicks off at 9 a.m. on Friday.

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