September is National Recovery Month and people across the county are doing their part to raise awareness on addiction and educate the public about the disease.
One such event is the McShin Foundation’s 16th Annual Recovery Fest. As a former addict and now recovery advocate for Banyan Treatment Centers, Brandon Novak spoke at the event and shared his story.
McShin Foundation’s Recovery Fest 2020
The McShin Foundation was founded by husband and wife, John Shinholser and Carol McDavid. Being in recovery for many years themselves, the pair opened this peer-to-peer recovery community organization to help others in the fight against substance use disorders. They started with a small office space in the basement of a local church and now have their own recovery center in Richmond, Virginia.
The Connection Between Skateboarding and Drugs
Just like Brandon Novak, some other professional skateboarders have fallen into the trap of drugs. Brandon Novak’s best bud, Bam Margera, fellow professional skater and stuntman, has had his own bout with alcohol and drug addiction. Jason Acuna, better known as Wee Man, is also a fellow skateboarder with a history of drug use. But why is there this pattern with drugs in skateboarding?
On September 11th and 12th, the McShin Foundation held its 16th
annual Recovery Fest. Traditionally, the event includes a barbecue cook-off, but due to COVID-19 guidelines, this portion of the event was canceled for the safety of those attending. Instead, Recovery Fest included a variety of recovery resources, merchandise, music, and the grand opening of the McShin Foundation’s new Memorial Garden, a small garden that honors those that have been lost from addiction.
Recovery Fest 2020 also included guest speakers who either have personal experience with addiction or have been active in the fight against substance abuse. After several years with a heroin addiction, Brandon was finally able to get sober and was able to speak on his own experiences of addiction and recovery at the event. Brandon Novak’s recovery
story is an inspiration for those who are still battling addiction and looking to win back their lives.
Other speakers for the event included Dan Schneider from Netflix’s The Pharmacist and Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier. Dan Schneider is a pharmacist from Louisiana whose son was shot while attempting to buy drugs. The loss of his son spurred an investigation into the big pharma industry and America’s struggle with the opioid epidemic. Camille Schrier is currently pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and has used her platform to speak out about prescription drug safety with her Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from Pediatrics to Geriatrics initiative.
Although it had to be slightly modified because of the coronavirus crisis, the McShin Foundation’s Recovery Fest is an important event for the Richmond community. It helps reach out to those in need, decreases the stigma surrounding drug addiction, and raises awareness for substance abuse in the community.
If you are struggling with addiction and looking for someone to talk to, call Brandon at his direct line at 610-947-5587.