‘Night of Hope’ event sheds light on addiction and treatment in the Grand Strand

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Addiction specialists from across the Grand Strand came together Monday night for A Night of Hope.

At the Rock Church in Conway, groups of people shared their own addiction stories and their paths to overcome them. It is these stories they hope will serve as an inspiration for anyone looking to find the sober path.

The Night of Hope isn’t just an opportunity for addicts to find help, but also for these agencies to learn what other agencies are out there and the resources they provide, so they can steer people looking for help in the right direction.

The Rock was full of hope and full of booths letting people know what resources they provide to fight addiction.

For the recovering addicts WMBF spoke with, seeing a room full of people who care embodies a big step forward in fighting the problem.

“It wasn’t because of a lack of love that I did the things I did and put my family in these horrible situations,” said Kristian Edwards, one of the guest speakers. “I was just sick, super sick.”

Kristian Edwards started his journey to recovery seven years ago, when he realized he needed to make a change for himself and his family.

He says a lot of things have changed since he made the decision to come clean.

“About six years ago, Myrtle Beach had this first, big opioid summit,” Edwards said. “A lot of these resources came out of that, and it’s a totally different landscape as far as what this area had back then and what it has now.”

Many of those resources were on display at A Night of Hope, where people struggling with addiction could learn more about the help available.

Addiction specialists could also get an idea of what other resources are out there, so they know who can help anyone who comes to them with a specific situation.

Those new outlets have helped Jesse Gibson in his recovery. He’s been struggling with heroin addiction since he was 15.

“Work the steps. Help other people, continue to take a daily inventory of my behavior,” said Gibson. “Know that there’s more out here than drugs or alcohol.”

As for Edwards, he serves as an inspiration for anyone struggling to make the choice to get into recovery.

“I used to pray that I would forget those things, the guilt, and shame that was associated with those things,” Edwards said. “But as time went on, my prayer changed. Now, I pray that I’ll never forget that.”

Gibson says he’ll be graduating from his recovery program next month.

He was excited to see all the agencies come together tonight and hopeful it may have encouraged someone to start down a similar path.

For more information, contact coordinatedeffort@cityofmyrtlebeach.com.

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