Coming together to observe Overdose Awareness Day

Coming together to observe Overdose Awareness Day
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - On International Overdose Awareness Day on Thursday, the Watertown community came together to educate and remember with speeches, butterflies, and music.

“My music didn’t sound like it does today. Basically, as my life changed, my words and lyrics changed along with it,” said FynePr1nt Williams.

He is celebrating five years sober.

“I was like, you know what? It’s either now or never. Lose it all, or fix yourself,” he said.

Now he brings music to comfort those dealing with addiction.

“It’s not over until it’s over for you, and by that I mean if you’re still here, that’s a chance. If you’re still here, that’s a change, and I think that should be encouraging enough,” he said.

There was a sea of purple in Watertown’s Public Square as people remembered lives lost to addiction, celebrated those in recovery, and continued their work to end the stigma around addiction.

“Not only memorialize those we lost to overdose, but also celebrate recovery, and support people that are still on their recovery journey,” said Erica Eichner, CREDO Community Center.

Several community organizations gathered to educate and offer resources, including Narcan training and harm reduction kits.

Eichner is 11 years into her recovery and says she’s lost a lot of friends from substance abuse.

“Most of the people I was in active addiction with are not alive today, and a lot of them that are are maybe incarcerated or still struggling,” she said.

There was also a butterfly release, symbolic of shedding one’s old life into a brighter future. Messages Williams also tries to convey through music.

“Perfection does not exist, so it’s just about knowing, hey, I may have fell tonight, but I’m going to take another stab at it tomorrow,” he said.