Group walking from coast to coast to fight drug epidemic

Walking to raise drug, alcohol awareness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- As the drug epidemic continues to plague every corner of the country, more and more groups are stepping in to work towards a solution. There are all sorts of different approaches, but this endeavor may be one of the most unique.

The Longest Walk is organized by a group of Native Americans who are walking from one corner of the country to the other.

"It's a 2,946 mile walk every step of the way all of the way across the nation,” Longest Walk Midwest Coordinator Michael Bockting said.

This journey started February 12 in San Francisco and will end in July in Washington, D.C. Monday, the group made a stop in the Commonwealth on its cross-country tour. Several community leaders greeted the walkers as they came across the Big Four Bridge.

"They've gone through blizzards, tornado warnings, thunderstorms, and they've persevered through the entire thing. Today, we're welcoming them into Kentucky,” Chairman for the Indigenous Peoples of Kentucky Michael Dunn said.

It's a walk that takes many paths but has one mission.

"Bring awareness to drug, alcohol, and spouse abuse,” Dunn said.

It may be a single group of the population, but it’s serving all people.

"This is for everybody,” Dunn said.

The Longest Walk is a three-leg, three-year series, with routes through the South, Midwest, and North.  Every stop gives the group a chance to talk to different communities about what's working and what still needs to be done to fight these issues. This year is the middle of that three-part series.  Next year, the group plans to present its findings to Congress to revise certain drug laws and get more treatment facilities.

"We used to say it takes a village to raise a child. My theme is this- it's going to take a nation to turn this drug epidemic around,” Bockting said. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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