Survivors tell how heroin epidemic impacted them

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Monday was International Overdose Awareness Day. The emphasis was on heroin at a public event Monday night at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Youngstown. Those who lost loved ones spoke to those who attended.

Hope Anne Lovrinoff-Moran says she knew something had to be done after her daughter’s friend overdosed and died from the drug earlier this year. “We need to take addiction out of the closet so to speak and bring it out where we can talk about it,” Lovrinoff-Moran said. “It’s a disease, a health issue.”

Nearly a thousand people died from heroin overdoses in Ohio in 2013. That’s half of the accidental deaths in the state.

Donald LoGiudice came to the event to talk about his late son. 28-year-old Donny LoGiudice had been battling a heroin addiction. He was released from an Akron rehab facility April 1. “My son overdosed on April 2nd. It’s a big loss for me. I don’t know that I’ll ever get over that, really.” LoGuidice tried to educate people so they don’t have to experience what he and his family have had to.

In recent years heroin use has spiked in the Mahoning Valley. According to the Ohio Department of Health, Trumbull County had the highest number of drug overdose deaths in northeast Ohio in 2013, the most recent year for statistics.

On Saturday, September 12th, there will be a walk against heroin use in Youngstown.

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