Community gathered at MLK Park to remember people who lost lives from overdoses

[anvplayer video=”5132726″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Members of the Rochester community gathered at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park on Thursday night to remember people who lost their lives to overdoses.

September is National Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The group Substance Overdose Awareness Recovery Services (SOARS) hosted the event in downtown Rochester.

Treatment providers were on hand to answer people’s questions. There was also lifesaving Narcan training and guest speakers shared their knowledge about substance abuse.

The goal of the event is to reduce the number of overdoses in Monroe County. Mayor Malik Evans was there.

“Everyone we know knows someone that has experience or is dealing with addiction. So the only way we can solve this is by making sure we deal with it collectively,” Evans said.

So far in 2022, there have been 349 overdoses on heroin or opioids in Monroe County, 81 of which were fatal. Febuary had the highest number of overdoses. In all of 2022, there were 649 overdoses, 130 of which were fatal. You can see statistics on overdoses on Monroe County’s website.

On Thursday, community members gathered at the Liberty pole in solidarity with people impacted by addiction and to urge Gov. Kathy Hochul to use executive action to safe injection sites statewide. County legislator Carolyn Delvecchio Hoffman, the niece of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who died of an overdose, spoke at the vigil.