Flying as high as a kite in the open air must be quite a liberating experience. The same sentiment is felt by victims of opioid abuse who undergo effective treatment that results in recovery. That’s why a team of New Season employees joined efforts to participate in a community kite festival in Huntsville, Ala.

The Asha Kiran Annual Community Kite Festival took place March 3 with the mission to increase awareness of social issues in the community. This year’s event brought together more than 90 community organizations across the city to highlight cultural diversity, specifically for those experiencing traumatic or stressful situations such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, depression, violence or disabilities.

Victims of the opioid crisis certainly fall into that category, and New Season provides a “ray of hope” in harmoniously integrating these people back into the community.

New Season employee Terry Mitchell, program director for the Huntsville Metro Treatment Center accounted his team’s participation in the event:

“Our treatment center participates in the annual Kite Festival in both Huntsville and Madison, Ala. This festival has thousands of community members that attend, and many of whom stopped by our table to learn about opiate addiction and treatment options.

This event allows the people of Huntsville and surrounding communities the opportunity to ask the vendors about the services that they provide. Most of the families that we spoke with have someone that they know and love that needs treatment. We’re happy that this event provides a safe environment for them to ask questions and receive feedback that could benefit their loved one.

Each vendor also has the opportunity to network with other vendors to help provide services to our community. Our office was able to meet Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray. We educated Chief McMurray about our medication-assisted treatment and the benefit that this treatment provides for our community. We also met mental health and medical service representatives whose patients may benefit from our treatment program.

The opportunity to save even one life is worth the investment of time and money that this event provides.”

Consistent and credible outreach like that offered by New Season’s Huntsville Metro Treatment Center is greatly needed in the state. Data shows that Alabama leads the nation in physician-prescribed opioid medications. In 2016, there were approximately 1.2 opiate prescriptions for every individual in the state. Alabamians also experienced an 82 percent increase in opioid-related deaths between 2006 and 2014.

“The opioid crisis is a public health and economic crisis that is eroding the quality of life for Alabama residents,” cited in a 74-page report issued by the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. “People are dying and families are being devastated. It impacts every sector of our economy, including healthcare, education, business and local governments.”

The Council issued a four-part plan to combat Opioid User Disorder in the state: prevention, intervention, treatment and community response. New Season is a proud supporter and dedicated activist of the state’s plan so that one day all victims of opioid abuse will fly free of addiction.