LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Drug addiction is a problem that people in western Massachusetts have become far too familiar with.
On Sunday, Ludlow residents gathered hoping to put an end to it.
A community came together to walk for a change. Despite the rainy weather, Ludlow’s Walk to Remember still happened. It was moved indoors to the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club.
The annual event brings people of all ages together to support one another.
Jacob Vautrain of Ludlow told 22News, “It’s really a tough topic to really think or talk about. I feel like tonight is really a time we can just all come together and be like hey it’s going to be okay.”
Walk to Remember is hosted by the Ludlow CARES coalition and the Michael J. Dias Foundation.
Laura Rooney, the president of Ludlow cares told 22News both organizations raise awareness and help those who are struggling with substance use.
“Both organizations are from Ludlow. Today we do the Walk to Remember in order to support those who have lost someone, to support those that are in recovery or who are struggling with recovery and also to educate our community,” said Rooney.
Many of the people who attended the event have been personally impacted by substance abuse.
Michael Brassard President of Michael’s Hose told 22News, people come to this walk to help end the stigma surrounding substance use disorder.
“These events do, they try and get rid of the stigma of addiction because it affects everybody,” said Brassard. “What stops a lot of people from reaching out for help is the fact that they don’t want to be stigmatized as a person that’s suffering with addiction.”
Walk to Remember also aims to remind the community that prevention is possible.
Walk to Remember is part of Ludlow’s annual Red Ribbon Week campaign which raises awareness of substance use disorder.