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‘When You Are Ready’ campaign aims to end substance abuse crisis

Capital region organizations start “When You Are Ready” campaign to put an end to the substance...
Capital region organizations start “When You Are Ready” campaign to put an end to the substance abuse crisis.(WAFB)
Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 7:50 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In 2020 East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office reported over 200 accidental overdoses. As of August 16, 2021, the number of fatal overdoses is already up to 169, but there is hope to change that.

Folks from the capital region, like Meredith Darden and Emily Ladner are volunteering for “When You Are Ready” campaign. Where they go out into the community, to local hotspots, for those struggling with substance abuse and remind them there is a way out. Once they were in the same position, too.

“So, I actually been to the hotels that we went to today, and live there and really was in a really really dark place. I actually wanted to die,” says Ladner.

However, Ladner got out of that dark place and met Darden, and together they are helping each other through their recovery process. Today, they want to remind others that it’s possible for them, too.

“There is a solution, there is a way out, you don’t have to live like that, there is help. We love you,” says Ladner. Darden adds standing next to Lander, “Sobriety is beautiful.”

It’s why they joined “When You Are Ready” campaign, the program is based on multiple organizations coming together to fight substance abuse, and the program is now being implemented throughout the entire state.

“We are all working together, we need each other to combat this problem, and I believe that when we continue to do more programs like this… go to where the need is, meet people where they are. It’s going to make a big difference and it’s going to save lives,” says Tonja Myles who is a community activist in the realm of substance abuse.

So, “When You Are Ready” campaign is actually using a bar code that way folks can simply scan on their phones. Then they can go directly to the website that way they can get all of the resources that they need if they need help immediately.

“There are tons of opportunities and resources to get help, if you are struggling reach out. You don’t have to go through it alone,” says Darden.

The program plans to meet every month, they are hoping more volunteers like Ladner and Darden will show up in order to make a difference just one step at a time.

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