MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – September is National Recovery Month. In this Heart of the Midstate segment we’re highlighting a Cumberland Valley Junior who started a club at school to help save lives, her name is Anike Heller. Some of the work the high school students are doing is now spilling over to help the entire community.

Cumberland Valley High School hosted ‘5K For Freedom’ over the weekend to educate students and the general public about signs and dangers of substance abuse. 72 runners signed up for the 5K walk/run at Cumberland Valley High on Saturday. There were food trucks, exhibits, and educational resources. Participating organizations include the list of 10 places below. Click on each link to learn more about how they can help you or a loved one. You can also use the links to learn about the warning signs of substance abuse:

In this Heart of the Midstate segment we’re chatting with Cumberland Valley Junior and 5K for Freedom co-chair Anike Heller who is passionate about helping save lives. We’re also chatting with Sabrina Lindsay, the Social Studies Supervisor for Cumberland Valley School District and Advisor for the student-run. Finally, we’re talking with Heather Hart who works with Drug Free Workplace of PA.

According to 5K For Freedom, if you’re struggling with substance abuse disorder you’re not alone. According to their statistics:

  • In 2016, 11.5+ million people reported misuse of pain medication
  • 30 Americans die every day from overdoses
  • 1 in 3 U.S. families suffers from the effects of a person struggling with substance abuse

At the event State Reps. Greg Rothman and Sheryl Delozier welcomed participants at and provided updates on programs and resources available to combat the opioid epidemic. Certified Recovery Specialist with Faces and Voices of Recovery, Keegan Wicks, also joined the efforts. Listen in the video at the top of this article for a recap of the event about how local leaders will continue the efforts moving forward.