HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — In the middle of Huntington’s Sunken Gardens Tuesday evening, dozens gathered holding balloons, to remember loved ones on International Overdose Awareness Day.
“There is hope,” said overdose survivor Jade Glover. “This is a way to shed light on overdoses.”
The Overdose Awareness Vigil was held on Aug. 31, known as International Overdose Awareness Day. Place of Grace hosted the vigil as a way for the community to come together to remember those who lost their lives to an overdose.
“We wanted to give the community a chance to grieve publicly and to connect with others who have been impacted by overdose,” said Brittany Renkenberger, Place of Grace executive director. “Hopefully this offers hope and encouragement who are currently struggling with addiction.”
Place of Grace is a Christ center residential recovery program for women leaving incarceration. The long-term resident’s program allows women six months to a year of ‘holistic evidence-based programs’ to help send them back into the world with hope.
One of those women was Jade Glover, who now works for Place of Grace as a program and case manager. Glover grew up with drugs in the home. Both her parents overdosed on drugs. Then she overdosed. Now her mission is to help those struggling like she was.
“I want to stand beside those in recovery and help those in addiction and that is my calling,” Glover said. “I believe that God gave me this calling and I will not stop talking about it until the day I die.”
Glover shared her story with the crowd. Watch below for her story.
During the ceremony, several area pastors prayed over the group. Huntington County Health Commissioner Dr. Matt Pflieger spoke on the increase of overdoses in Huntington, the state of Indiana, and the nation.
In 2019 Huntington County saw five overdose death during the entire year. In 2020 there were five overdose deaths in the first six months. In the state of Indiana, more than 2,300 Hoosiers died of an overdose. But Dr. Pflieger told the crowd not to get lost in the numbers and instead focus on the stories of those who died.
“Numbers are rising,” Dr. Pflieger said. “It is happening in our community. We had big issues in our community before the pandemic. The pandemic pulled off a bandaid and really laid bare to what’s going on.”
For those struggling with addiction and who need help, contact 211 and will be transferred to a resource in your area.
“Don’t give up,” Glover said. “Don’t stop talking. There’s always someone who’s going to listen. There’s always someone who is going to walk beside you. You just have to find your safe person.”