The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 8, 2013

Candlelight vigil to honor drug victims

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — A candlelight vigil will be held Oct. 17 in honor of families suffering from prescription drug abuse or loss of a loved one.

“One Flame Can Light the Way” is the theme for the vigil, which will be held at Jim Word Memorial Park from 7 to 8 p.m.

Debbie Williams, with the Raleigh County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, said this year will be the second annual vigil, but she’s hoping for a better turnout this time around.

“Last year it was the day of the huge snowstorm and we were under a state of emergency. We carried on, but it was not a good turnout.”

She said this year’s event will focus on families and recovering addicts, and several will speak about their struggles.

The vigil also strives to raise awareness, as West Virginia has the highest per capita overdose death rate in the nation.

According to a release, nine of every 10 overdose deaths have prescription drugs as a sole or contributing cause of death.

The Raleigh County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is inviting everyone to do something about this growing problem.

Candles will be provided for the vigil, Williams said, so just bring yourself, friends and family.

If you are unable to attend, the group is asking that you place a candle in your window to show your support.

For more information, contact Debbie Williams at 304-255-3764, Rebecca Smith at 304-712-8515 or Melonie Terry at 681-238-5724.

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