COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — September is National Recovery Month and a local non-profit took to the Chattahoochee, hosting nearly 500 people for the first Recovery on the River event.

The event serves as a safe space to celebrate recovery from substance abuse and mental health disorders. Hundreds of people gathered at Woodruff Riverfront Park for the free event featuring a live cover band, food trucks and speakers who shared their recovery testimonies.

Recovery on the River is part of a larger state-wide movement including a bus tour across Georgia for National Recovery month. New Horizons Peer Recovery Coach, John Burdeshaw, says the initiative will leave a lasting impact on the Fountain City.

“So many people in Columbus, Georgia, are struggling from addiction,” said Burdeshaw. “We’re losing so many of our friends to overdose and to the streets and shootings and things of that nature. So it’s important for all of us to get together to let everybody know that there’s support and there’s help and that we care and that there’s recovery is real in Columbus, Georgia.”

Local organizations like SafeHouse Ministries and House of Time also attended the event with representatives walking the road of recovery. Narcan was also distributed throughout the event.