Tree-lighting ceremony hopes to break stigma of addiction on International Overdose Awareness Day

The event was organized by Dorothy Knowlton Johnson, who lost her son to an overdose over a decade ago.

Kevin Vesey

Sep 1, 2023, 12:41 AM

Updated 270 days ago

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Blue Point held a tree-lighting ceremony Thursday in honor of those who died of overdoses.
The event was organized by Dorothy Knowlton Johnson, who lost her son to an overdose over a decade ago.
When her son died, she planted a tree in honor of him and it has now grown into a tall evergreen.
The ceremony is called Wings of Hope. It hopes to get community members out to talk about their struggles with opioids and other drugs to drop the stigma associated with addiction.
“It’s difficult – Max was my only child,” Johnson says. “But it makes a difference. It makes a difference because you show a face of somebody in our community – it makes a big difference.”
The opioid epidemic is raging on Long Island.
In 2022, there were 181 opioid deaths in Nassau County and 336 opioid deaths in Suffolk County.
Narcan, which can revive a person from an overdose, was given out at events for International Overdose Awareness Day on Thursday. It will soon be made available over the counter at pharmacies soon.
A two-dose pack of Narcan will cost $45. It could be on pharmacy shelves as early as next week.


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