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Graffiti artists to raise awareness of addiction in Rockland

By Tréa Lavery The Patriot Ledger

Monday

Posted at 4:31 PM

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ROCKLAND — Twenty artists will create graffiti on large canvases to show the stories of their addiction recovery at Tag Recovery GraffitiFest, an arts event to raise awareness about drug and alcohol addiction, from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, June 16.

“Recovering addicts and alcoholics get a bad rap, and so does graffiti,” said Susie Lordi, who organized the event. “A lot of recovering addicts were the ones tagging under the bridges. I figured this would be something that’s not too much of a stretch.”

Lordi is a former addict herself, and said that she is celebrating her 25th year of sobriety in June. She said that during her own recovery, she had difficulty staying sober because recovery programs often didn’t provide any new ways for addicts to enjoy life without substances. Now, she sponsors others in their recoveries, and often notices that they have the same issue.

“I always asked them the same thing: What do you like to do for fun?” Lordi said. “Nobody knew, because they would just get high for fun.”

She started organizing sober events in Florida where she lived during her recovery, and now, back in her hometown of Rockland, she wants to continue that.

In addition to the artists, there will be free Narcan trainings and information on addiction and recovery resources will be available from Rockland Cares. Food will also be available.

“Recovering addicts and alcoholics, if they are able to transform into this new way of life, I’ve never met better people,” Lordi said. “They can turn into rock stars, too.”

The event is free, but donations will be accepted for Rockland Cares. The GraffitiFest will be held in the parking lot of the Sandpaper Factory, 83 East Water St.

For more information, visit 24hrpower.com

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