Groups concerned about rising substance abuse problems plan to hold Portland’s first Walk for Recovery on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The walk is being organized by Catholic Charities Maine’s Counseling Services in partnership with Milestone Foundation, Crossroads for Women, Day One and Serenity House. It corresponds with National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month.

“This is an ideal opportunity for everyone to show their concern at the increasing problem of drug and alcohol abuse – those who may have family members or friends affected, or those who just want to just increase awareness of the problem within the community,” said Catholic Charities’ CEO Stephen Letourneau.

A May 2010 report by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse said:

  • Admissions to treatment programs for prescription drug abuse have grown by 62 percent since 2005.
  • Heroin consumption is on the rise, with admissions for treatment up by 40 percent since 2008.
  • Alcohol is still the leading substance Mainers seek treatment for, with 45 percent of treatment program admissions related to alcohol.

The walk is free to register and enter although organizers are asking participants for $10 donations to support alcohol and drug addiction education.

The Portland walk will begin at Catholic Charities Maine Counseling Services, 250 Anderson St., Portland, with a blessing from Bishop Malone at 12:30 p.m. followed by a walk around the Eastern Promenade trail to the Ocean Gateway Terminal (3.2-mile roundtrip).

Free T-shirts will be given to the first 250 people to register, and free refreshments and activities will be available to all participants.

Participants can register for the walk online.

For more information about the Walk for Recovery, volunteer or donation opportunities, please contact Kristen Wells at (207) 321-7806 or [email protected].