WINCHESTER — Inspirational speakers discussing their journey to sobriety, food, music, children’s games and a candlelit ceremony remembering people who fatally overdosed will be part of the fourth annual Addicted to Hope Rally.
The rally culminates The 5 Days of 5 Ways You Can Prevent an Overdose, an effort by rally sponsor the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition. The initiative includes distribution of the overdose antidote naloxone, a drug take-back, promoting a support group for families of addicts and promoting peer-recovery specialists. Peers are state-certified individuals, typically in long-term recovery, who help newly sober drug users maintain their sobriety.
The five-day campaign was motivated in hopes of preventing a spike in overdoses this month, according to a coalition news release. There were 11 overdoses between Sept. 20-29 of last year.
Through Monday, there have been 23 fatal overdoses and 96 non-fatal overdoses in Winchester and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties this year, according to Joshua T. Price, a state police special agent and coordinator of the Northern Virginia Drug and Gang Task Force. At this time last year, there were 14 deaths and 98 non-fatal overdoses.