3-hour vigil held to remember local victims of addiction

Heroin addiction memorial

Arlington Overcoming Addiction held a candlelight vigil to remember addicted people here who have died as an estimated 60 people attended.

The three-hour event was held Monday, Aug. 31, from 7 to 10 p.m. A Facebook post said doors to Lowe Auditorium at Arlington High were to be open at 6:30.

The third meeting of Arlington Community Training and Support (Arlington ACTS) was to be held Tuesday, Sept. 1. Instead, Arlington police encourage all members of the community to attend Arlington Overcoming Addiction‘s first vigil, which members hope to be an annual event.

Unlike earlier events, this one is open to the public, Chief Fred Ryan said Aug. 30.

Police said in a Facebook post: "It is fitting that this also happens to fall on the International Overdose Awareness Day which is held globally each year to raise the awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose."

ACTS logo

If you would like your loved one's name read or picture displayed, send to arlingtonovercomingaddiction[at]@gmail.com.

Arlington Overcoming Addiction was formed last October, according to its Facebook page.

More than 20 people attended the first meeting of Arlington Community Training and Support (Arlington ACTS) for opiate addicts and their families, and Chief Frederick Ryan described the Aug. 4 meeting as successful. A second meeting was held Aug. 18. Both were held near Highrock Church. Officials distributed seven nasal Narcan kits after providing training and demonstrations.

When the outreach was first suggested, in late June, Ryan told selectmen that a week earlier, three had overdosed in Arlington, and two of them died -- a male, 27, and a female, 21.

Arlington ACTS is a key part of the Arlington Outreach Initiative, the department's new appraoch to drug addiction in town. Click here to download the program materials.

"We are changing the way we respond to drug addiction in the community to focus on helping those suffering with the disease," Ryan said in a news release issued Thurday, Aug. 6. "To do so, we know that providing information and education on the matter is one of the first steps of getting people and their families the help they need."

Aug. 4, 2015: Police release action plan on addiction

July 10, 2015: Town police begin reaching out to addicts

This annoucement was published Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, and updated the next day.

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