Annual overdose awareness event in Lexington

Published: Aug. 26, 2017 at 2:03 PM EDT
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Saturday a large group gathered together at Jacobson Park in Lexington for the 5th Annual Overdose Awareness Day Event.

"We were in denial. I mean we were just broken," volunteer Joe Oliver said.

This is Oliver's third year attending. He says the event changed his families lives, after facing his son's addiction to Heroin.

"I am telling you right now our son is just doing amazing now. This is near our hearts and it will be forever because this is a terrible, terrible, disease," Oliver said

Today's event was in memory of those who lost their lives to addiction and to raise awareness about overdose prevention.

"It's really more about pointing people and educating people towards the resources that are available," Director of Voices of Hope, Sharon Tankersley said.

Motivational speaker and former UK Wildcat Rex Chapman, stopped by Saturday morning to talk about his struggles with addiction. He says event's such as this one, makes a difference.

"You know, when you are going through it, you just hope, you cling to any sort of hope and I know people came and spoke to me privately and in groups when I was going through things and it really does help," Chapman said.

Alex Elswick is the Co-founder of Voices of Hope, who was a sponsor of today's event. He says a big challenge he faced during early recovery, was the stigma surrounding addiction.

"And just sort of feeling like an outcast, like a leper and so this event is a space for people to grieve. It's a space for people to get connected with resources and all those things. It's a place for people to see that the community cares about them. Just that people have a heart," Elswick said.