A remembrance of those from Watertown who have been lost to heroin and opioid addiction will be held on Sept. 23 at St. Patrick’s Church.
The event will be presented by Watertown Overcoming Addiction, a group formed to raise awareness of the epidemic of opiate addiction, and to support those trying to recover from it. The event will be in the Lower Hall at St. Patrick’s Church, 212 Main St., Watertown, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
“The main part of the night will be remembering the people who were lost,” said Peter Airasian, who started Watertown Overcoming Addiction. “The other thing is to raise awareness that this is happening here. It is not limited to Boston and Somerville. It’s happening in Watertown and it has been here for a long time.”
Overdoses and deaths from heroin and opiates has sharply increased in 2015, with 40 overdoses and nine deaths reported to public safety officials so far this year, according to Watertown Police Lt. Dan Unsworth. Last year there were 30 overdoses and one death reported.
Speakers will include family members of those who died from drug use. There will also be several groups providing information for people seeking treatment, and free training to administer the anti-overdose drug Narcan will also be available that night, Airasian said.
“I’m hoping for a good showing,” Airasian said. “Along with remembering people who passed away, we want to introduce ourselves and say there’s another side – there is hope.”
For more information about Watertown Overcoming Addiction is available at https://www.facebook.com/watertownovercomingaddiction.
Another group, Watertown Against Substance Abuse, supports family members of addicts. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Watertown-Against-Substance-Abuse-634084653363752/