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FIGHT event will feature stories from addicts and their families

In an attempt to raise awareness about and end the stigma of addiction, Families Into Getting Help Together (FIGHT) is hosting a “You NEED To Know Me” event Thursday night.

“Lives are being lost left and right and we still can’t get the community to wake up and do something about it. There are still people out there thinking it can’t happen to them or someone they love, but believe me, it can,” said Toni Ward, founder of FIGHT.

The event will be held at the Danville Church of God, 516 S. Fourth St., Danville, and will give the community an opportunity to listen to addicts and families share stories of struggle, addiction, and recovery.

“I especially felt it was important to include family members this time around because, as we all know, addiction doesn’t only affect the addict,” she said. “All in all, it’ll be some amazing testimonies and, of course, tons of resource information for those who attend.”

There will be free food at the event

Ward said addiction is a tough problem that won’t be solved overnight.

“Addiction is a disease. It is an ‘every single day for the rest of your life’ battle — even for the family. But the more awareness we raise and the more we let those struggling know that we are here for them, we do not judge and we want to genuinely help them and their families … We can tackle this one step at a time, one person at a time, one family at a time,” she said.

The overall goal, Ward said, is to bring understanding.

“I’m hoping that having the family aspect involved will make other family members come out and know that they’re not alone and there are now more resources for them as well,” she said.

“I’m so thankful for these individuals to feel comfortable enough to openly discuss what they’ve been through, what they’re doing to get past it, and how they’re dealing with everyday life,” Ward said. “It’s always going to be a battle for each side, but the first step is talking about it, accepting it and then working towards overcoming it.”

Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.

SO YOU KNOW

The event “You NEED to Know Me” will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the Danville Church of God, 516 S. Fourth St.