Drug use is a problem almost every local community faces, and local residents are joining a national group to raise awareness for the problem, and find ways to stop it.
September is National Recovery Month and “Ignite the Night: Lights for Hope, Lights for Change,” is a vigil being held by a group called Change Addiction Now. It is a remembrance for those suffering from addiction, and those who have passed. Organizers hope the vigil will be a guiding light for families and addicts.
Mark Watson, with West Virginia C.A.N., said it’s about bringing attention and change to the substance abuse disorder and to bring awareness to the drug epidemic.
The group said they really want to see a change when it comes to the heroin addiction problem in the Northern Panhandle. The social media group is now taking their mission to the streets to left families and addicts know that they can get involved with something educational and supportive.
“What we try to do is bring the family element into the substance abuse and addiction because we feel that we have the voice that our children don’t have,” said Cindy Koumoutzis with Ohio C.A.N.
Change Addiction Now was originally started by a group of mothers who were tired of seeing kids die from heroin, prescription drugs and other addictive substances. Watson said C.A.N. is similar to a self-help group, an N.A. or A.A. meeting rolled into one. He said everyone helps each other.
“We want to see change and we will go out and make sure it happens. We’re not just a social media group that sits in our pajamas and sits at our computer and chats back and forth with people, we take action,” Watson said.
The vigil will include informal tables set up, several speakers from the various fields of addiction and recovery and an open discussion. Watson is asking everyone to bring their own candles.
The vigil starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 13 at the Weirton Millsop Community Center. Everyone is invited to attend.