Facing Addiction, a new, national organization that will serve as a voice for the over 85 million Americans impacted by addiction, has announced the "Unite To Face Addiction" rally, a free event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, October 4. At the rally, Facing Addiction, along with over 450 diverse organizations from around the country, will launch a first-of-its-kind campaign to confront America's denial about the most urgent health crisis facing our nation today — addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
The event will feature musical performances by Joe Walsh, AEROSMITH singer Steven Tyler with his Nashville-based band, LOVING MARY, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, THE FRAY, and John Rzeznik of the GOO GOO DOLLS; powerful, inspirational speakers from all walks of life who have been affected by addiction; and remarks by celebrities, elected officials and other advocates who will join together to change the conversation around, and bring new solutions to, the addiction crisis in America.
"Together we must find solutions to the addiction crisis and put a face on the hope that survivors offer," said health expert and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz, in a PSA released today in support of the event. In addition to Dr. Oz, other notable individuals who have already embraced and endorsed this event include congresswoman Mary Bono, Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner, congressman Patrick Kennedy, author and activist Christopher Kennedy Lawford, author and TV host Pat O'Brien, entrepreneur and music producer Russell Simmons, former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry, best-selling author William Cope Moyers, Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, former astronaut Steve Oswald and many more.
"Unite To Face Addiction will mark the first time our nation will collectively stand up to addiction, a health problem that impacts 1 in 3 households," said Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction and a person in long-term recovery. "Twenty-two million Americans are currently suffering from a substance use disorder, and more than 23 million others are living in recovery. When you include the families of the afflicted, addiction impacts over 85 million people — we all know somebody. It's not 'those' people, it's all of us."
"When I lost my son, Austin, to addiction, I had no idea this tragedy was happening all over America — and that in our country, a life is lost to addiction every 4 minutes — the equivalent of a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day, with no survivors," said Jim Hood, co-founder of Facing Addiction. "We know there are solutions to the addiction crisis and it's time for America to face addiction and exercise the political and social will to act on those solutions."
Additional performers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
To donate to Facing Addiction, you can text FACING to 41444 or visit FacingAddiction.org, where you can also find more information including updates about the Unite To Face Addiction rally. Please also visit and follow @FacingAddiction and #UNITEtoFaceAddiction on Twitter.