HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Hundreds took it one step at a time.
Not One More Alabama hosted its annual “End Heroin Walk” at Big Spring Park Saturday morning, drawing people of all walks whose lives had been touched by drug addiction.
34 different organizations gathered to offer help and resources, including physicians from UAB who passed out NARCAN (the emergency treatment in the event of an opioid overdose).
Speakers and organizers shared their stories of loss and recovery, and those fighting addiction were honored with a chip ceremony.
At the end of the event, the crowd took a ceremonial walk around Big Spring Park, in a massive showing of community unity.
Not One More Alabama Board Member Sally Barton lost her son to a heroin overdose three years ago, and urged parents to be educated and vigilant.
“I never, ever, hardly went into [my son’s] room looking for drugs paraphernalia. I was suspicious, but I was afraid. Fear is nothing but a liar, it’ll eat you up if you let it.” she said.
Barton said there are items that can be bought online to hide drugs like fake water bottles, soda cans and tissue boxes. She said parents shouldn’t fear searching they’re child’s room.
Attendee Cassidy Cooper said he’s been six months sober from an opiate addiction, and encouraged those struggling with addiction to keep fighting. He said the hundreds in attendance is a testament to the community’s support.
“That’s the whole thing. It’s just to have people, a group that supports everybody. You can really feel the energy in here, it’s awesome,” he said.
The latest National Institutes of Health report on drug overdose deaths in Alabama shows an 11.1 percent increase from 2016 to 2017.
You can go to the Not One More Alabama website for resources on addiction.