Rallying against the heroin epidemic

About 1,500 people went to the Warren Amphitheatre to listen and share their stories of hope, loss and recovery

About 1,500 people went to the Warren Amphitheater to listen and share their stories of hope, loss and recovery

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio ranks in the top five states with the highest rates of drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Almost half of the fatal overdoses that took place in Trumbull County last year happened within the city of Warren.

That’s why community members are working to put an end to the epidemic. This year’s Walk Against Heroin was put on by the Braking Point Recovery Center, and for the speakers who have conquered their addiction, their stories made the crowd fall silent.

“It doesn’t have to get as bad as it got for me, but I can say the only way I was able to do what I did is because I surrendered to this disease,” said Nicholas Story, a recovering addict.

The rally and walk are ways the community is fighting against the epidemic, with their sole purpose to raise awareness and show that there is still hope for the sick and suffering.

“I’m personally an addict myself. I’m sober 11 months right now, so I’ve struggled with addiction. My mother was an addict. I’ve had cousins, parents, friends that have passed away,” said Emily Smith, a recovering addict.

It’s also a way to network all the links in the community and bring them together as one.

“Our son was a great athlete, and he got addicted through painkillers. We couldn’t help him at all. He refused help, and then it just got worse and worse and worse. He wanted to do it one more time, and it was too strong, it took his life,” said Raymond Sansota, one of the rally’s speakers.

Not even the scattered showers, thunder and lightning on Sunday put a damper on the spirit of the rally — about 1,500 people were in attendance at the Warren Amphitheater.

“They have to make a choice to stay clean, get professional help and also spiritual help so they can make it, and recover,” Sansota said.

And with recovery comes a promise for the future.

“We want to avoid what could ultimately happen. We want to get the help out there. We want to get these families together, the co-dependents, the people that are so used to nurturing the addict, and doing this for them by showing them how to get the help that they need, for everybody as a whole,” said Ryan Sheridan from the Breaking Point Recovery Center.

Organizers said they couldn’t have asked for a better event, full of people willing to offer hope to one another.

“It boils down to me continuing to remember that everyday I wake up and I’m still the same person. I have to do certain things to not go back to that type of life style. And my life has improved so much it’s amazing,” Story said.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s