Hope is a four-letter word society could use more often. But none more so perhaps, than those suffering from addiction.
Last week the local Narcotics Anonymous (NA) chapter gathered to paint a larger than life sign on the 34th Street wall in Gainesville, aiming to bring attention to the organization that has been a sanctuary for addicts since 1953.
“Narcotics Anonymous was the lifeline I needed in order to be free from active addiction,” said one volunteer who is currently in recovery and came to help paint the wall.
To prevent violating the anonymous tradition of NA, members have found it challenging to present NA to the public. In honoring that tradition, the organization and its members do not advertise in the press.
June 5-11 was public relations week for NA, so painting the wall was one way members agreed might deliver the message of hope to those who may be struggling and do not know NA is here.
The helpline phone number, 352-376-8008, is included in the sign for anyone to call. Callers will be given information on meetings and where to get help.
“NA gave me a life I never thought I could have, and I am forever grateful for the guidelines it provides, which taught me how to live,” another volunteer said while putting the finishing touches on the wall.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021.