Long Island candlelight vigil honors lives lost to drug, opioid overdoses

Hauppauge's THRIVE Recovery Center was illuminated by the somber glow of candlelight as the names of those lost to fatal overdoses and drug poisonings were solemnly read aloud. 

The vent served as a cathartic gathering for families and friends, offering them a space to acknowledge their grief and pay tribute to their loved ones.

Thursday, August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, a globally recognized initiative aimed at dispelling the stigma surrounding opioid and substance use disorders. 

"Anyone who thinks it can’t happen to my child, I’ll give you a wake-up call," said Carole Trottere who lost her son. "You don’t always know everything your kid is doing."


Activists gather in Times Square for Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day

Non-profit group Facing Fentanyl hosted the event, aimed at spreading awareness and changing the way we talk about the potentially deadly drug.

According to the CDC, more than 107,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. last year alone.

"For parents, it means having a conversation with your kids, not when they’re in trouble but when they’re younger about the dangers of drugs and alcohol," said Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds with Family Childrens Association.

Naloxone or Narcan used to reverse an opioid overdose will be available for $45 in retail stores and online in early September according to the manufacturer. Advocates call it a major step in fighting the crisis.

"If you can get a defibrillator or EpiPen in a pharmacy, you should be able to obtain naloxone or Narcan," said Steve Chassman who is the Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence.