WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Sunday, a community fought back against drug overdoses.
Hundreds of people came out for the second annual Walk Against Heroin in Warren. And many had stories of how addiction not only affects the person addicted and their family, but everything in their life.
For instance, there’s Deebow the dog. Deebow is now with his second owner, Greg Gromofsky.
“You can see that when I take him other places, he has fears that I’m going to leave him there,” Gromofsky said.
His first owners, who were Greg’s friends, died after overdosing on heroin. Greg, a recovering addict himself, said he got addicted to drugs and alcohol at just 11 years old.
Sunday he took Deebow to the Walk Against Heroin to show how the drug can affect everyone and everything in your life.
“I don’t have to pay my bills. I don’t care about what house I’m living in,” Gromofsky said. “There’s always a bridge. OK, it’s freezing cold. I’ll find somebody and sleep on their couch for a few days.”
Greg was one of the hundreds of people who came out to the Warren Community Amphitheater.
Throughout the day, balloons floated in the air with the names of loved ones whose lives were taken by the drug written on them.
Former addicts and recovery professionals spoke to the crowd and provided support for people who are struggling to fight their addiction.
“We’re here to show that there’s recovery out here in Warren,” former addict Tim Vestal said. “It’s out here. If you want it, we’re here. Look how strong we are right now.”
There was also support for families and friends of addicts — teaching them to be there for the person and to not try to force anything on them.
“During that process of being there, something changed inside of me to where I did want it, once my head got clear and I wasn’t thinking crazy anymore,” Vestal said.
“I had to re-figure out how to live,” Gromofsky said. “And I’m not very good at it, but I’m working on it.”
The mayor and members of law enforcement also spoke at the event Sunday. The night ended with fireworks in downtown square.