VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - The lives lost because of substance abuse were remembered during a candlelight vigil in Venice Thursday night.
Michelle Cable has a brother who died of a drug overdose in 2017. His picture is on a wall with so many others.
“Just being here with people who have experienced what I’ve experienced, it helps to cope and not feel so alone,” said Cable.
Dozens of people attending the vigil, not only remembering the loved ones they’ve lost but also learning how to deal with this type heartache.
In addition to the candlelight vigil, there were lots of speakers from law enforcement, to those currently in recovery and different organizations.
Laura Williamson, a volunteer with the Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education Organization, also known as NOPE, helped organize the event. This really hits close to home for her. She lost her brother in 2010 to a substance abuse related event. He had been with the US Coast Guard.
“I really felt a need in our community for people to connect and for people to realize that they are not alone," said Williamson. "Their loved ones do matter, but also to bring hope that recovery is possible.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 72,000 unintentional drug and alcohol related deaths nationwide in 2017 and just under 70,000 last year.