Seen on: WNYT News Channel 13

Thursday, August 29, 2019

SARATOGA SPRINGS – People gathered in Saratoga Springs Thursday night to fight back against addiction.

A candlelight vigil was held in Congress Park. It was to honor loved ones lost to an overdose.

“It’s a club you never want to belong to,” said Eve Cascone.

Cascone’s daughter died from an overdose at just 30 years old. Cascone said her daughter had been in recovery for five months before she died.

“We were seeing the Katie we knew,” said Cascone. “The feisty girl again. She wanted to go back to school, she has all those hopes and dream. But heroin is a very strong drug and she went back once and she was gone within 6 hours.”

Thursday night’s vigil was put on by Recovery Advocacy in Saratoga (RAIS), Healing Springs Recovery Community Center and The Prevention Council of Saratoga County. They said they wanted it to be a stigma, shame free way for family and friends to honor their loved ones.

“No one pointing fingers and saying negative comments,” said Brendan Norton, a family support navigator for Healing Springs Recovery Center. “It’s a place for people to heal.”

Norton is in long term recovery and said it’s important for the community to talk about addiction. He said it wasn’t until he was clean and sober that he realized the toll his addiction had taken on his wife.

“The amount of time she spent having to cover up things for me out of the embarrassment and the shame of being addicted,” said Norton.

Before the vigil, there was free narcan training led by Saratoga County Sheriff’s Deputies. The drug can save someone during an overdose and Norton said you don’t need to know someone addicted to be trained how to use it.

“If you visited a Stewart’s gas station, a grocery store parking lot there’s a chance you could run into an overdose,” said Norton.

As people continue to help loved one fight addiction, Cascone said it’s important to not give up on them.

“Your love is very important to them despite the disease, because it’s addiction it’s not the person it’s the disease,” said Cascone.