Local families head to Raleigh to honor loved ones who dies from overdoses

Dozens of Triad families headed to Raleigh Friday night to honor those who died from an overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day aims to remember those killed, but also call for action for more recovery and prevention resources.

Randy Abbott joined the group of parents traveling for the event with a banner listing the names of people who died from overdose in North Carolina.

"We wanted to do something North Carolina specific since this is a North Carolina event. When you unroll it and you see the impact and you see how many families have been impacted and how many friends, it's emotional," he said.

Abbott's daughter is listed on the banner. He said she died several years ago, and he hopes to be a support system for other families impacted by addiction.

"If we can help someone else feel better over their loss and know that there's someone out there fighting in their loved one's memory, that means everything," he said.

Chase Holleman with GCSTOP says overdoses in the Triad area are still rising, but deaths from overdose are starting to fall. He said the potency of drugs being sold likely plays a role in the increase.

"It's really impossible to tell what you're doing and how much of what you're doing is safe, so it's essentially poison," he said.

Abbott said the Raleigh event is just one of hundreds happening worldwide. More than a dozen awareness events were planned in North Carolina.

Event organizers said the main message is to let people know "the tragedy of overdose death is preventable and more must be done to save lives."