Second Annual Recovery Walk Held in Lowndes County
Lowndes County, Georgia: In 2021, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) celebrates the 32nd anniversary of National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), while spreading the message that treatment is effective, and people can and do recover—every day. On Friday, September 24, 2021 the Lowndes County DUI and Drug Accountability Courts held the 2nd Annual Recovery Walk at the historic Lowndes County Courthouse in downtown Valdosta to raise awareness about addiction, promote behavioral wellness and show the community that recovery is possible.
Elizabeth Peters, DUI Court Coordinator, kicked off the event by stating “Recovery Month reminds us that substance use disorders affect all of us and that we are all part of the solution.”
She then introduced, Ellen Golden, Judge for Lowndes County State Court, who also presides over the Lowndes County DUI Court who spoke about the history of the DUI Court and the mission and goals of the program. Since inception of the DUI Court in 2017, the Court has had 49 graduates successfully complete the strenuous program.
Greg Voyles, Judge for the Lowndes County Superior Court, who also presides over the Lowndes County Drug Court then spoke about the history of the Drug Court and seeing the effect Accountability Courts have on our community.
The crowd then heard from Mr. Aaron Winston, founder and CEO of R.E.A.C.H Two, a non-profit organization here in Lowndes County. Mr. Winston shared with the group the troubles of his past and how he was able to overcome them. Mr. Winston also shared how recovery is for everyone; every person, every family, and every community.
The official Proclamation signed by Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bill Slaughter naming September National Recovery Month in Lowndes County was read by Vice Chairwoman Joyce Evans and then presented to Judge Golden and Judge Voyles.
The Recovery Walk involved many community resources at the event with tables from Greenleaf, Celebrate Recovery, Legacy Behavioral Health Services, South Georgia Rural Opioid Response Project, Lowndes County Drug Court, and Lowndes County DUI Court.
Families, activists, and addiction survivors then walked in recognition of National Recovery Month around the historic courthouse with each other with one thing in common – recovery.
Elizabeth Peters, Coordinator for the DUI Court hopes to make the walk an annual event to continue to raise awareness for recovery.
To learn more about the DUI Court and the recovery walk, please contact Elizabeth Peters at 229-671-2895.
In the photo from left to right is Aaron Winston, Founder and CEO of R.E.A.C.H Two; Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairwoman Joyce Evans, Judge Ellen Golden; Judge Greg Voyles; Elizabeth Peters, DUI Court Coordinator; and Geoff Martin, Drug Court Case Manager.