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Overdose Awareness Day at Great American Ball Park shows anyone can get help

by Liz Bonis, WKRC

Friday, August 26th 2022

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - People are invited to join fans, families, and support agencies for a special Reds game at Great American Ball Park. Wednesday is Overdose Awareness Day and at Great American Ball Park, those tossing and catching the first pitch know what it takes to not just get in the game but stay there.

“You know I was dealing with addiction, mental health, I had a drug and alcohol problem,” said Abby Rau.

Rau says finally after struggling to get sober since high school, she finally got help.

“It just consumed everything of me and I just didn't want to live anymore,” Rau said.

A team from Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services helped her turn both that feeling and her life around.

“I wanted help but I didn't know how to go about that,” Rau said.

Now two years sober, Rau and Earl Redding, who has overcome homelessness, have a special role at Great American Ball Park because at Wednesday’s Overdose Awareness Game.

“I’m going to be throwing the first pitch,” Redding said. Rau will be there to catch it.

“When I started this journey, I never thought this is where it would take me,” Rau said.

But since the thousand-mile journey always begins with the first step, thousands of fans and dozens of support programs will be at the game to let others know that Rau and Redding’s journey back to recovery is possible for you or someone you love, too.

“Recovery is possible because there are just so many different pathways to get there, and there are a lot of providers around who have services accessible, as well as an individuals’ own motivation and desire to walk down that pathway,” said Julie Kubin with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services.

People interested in attending the game can buy tickets here. The Reds will face the St. Louis Cardinals for the Overdose Awareness game. Click on the video below to view the story.

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