People rappel in fight against addiction - WFSB 3 Connecticut

People rappel in fight against addiction

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People rappel in Hartford to help the fight against addiction.  (WFSB) People rappel in Hartford to help the fight against addiction. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

About 200 people will spend Wednesday rappelling 22 stories down the Hilton in Hartford.

In its fourth year, the event raises funds for Shatterproof, a non-profit organization supporting those suffering from addiction. Gary Mendell is the founder of Shatterproof and his drive is rooted in the memory of his son, who lost his battle to addiction in 2011.

With Brian in my heart, I was really trying to focus on how big this disease was around the country," Mendell said. "How many families were getting shattered like ours was every single day."

Shatterproof events are done in cities across the country and the organization has raised more than $7 million, so far.

"To rise up, bring attention to this and we need more people. We have about 100,000 advocates within our organization," Mendell said. "We need to get to a million."

People took small steps for a big reason. 

"That's what Shatterproof is trying to do is to get us to start recognizing this as a disease and something that we can talk about and be open about," Adam Sharp, of Suffield, said. 

Mendell said he believes as a nation we are not doing enough to the opioid crisis, and he says many of the solutions are simple and don't cost a penny.

"It's common sense solutions," Mendell said. "Effective prescribing by doctors, following the CDC guideline that has been out for a year-and-a-half." 

Mendell said we first need to get rid of the stigma and treat addiction like any other disease.

"We're going to treat with you medicine just like anyone with a disease, with love and sympathy and empathy like we do for others with other disease," Mendell said.

Wednesday’s event is going on until 4 p.m.

For more information on Shatterproof, click here

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