Remembering victims on International Overdose Awareness Day

As of July 31, first responders in Fort Wayne went to 581 overdose calls.

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 9:50 PM
Updated: Sep 1, 2018 1:46 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Medics are responding to fewer overdose calls compared to last year.

As of July 31, first responders in Fort Wayne went to 581 overdose calls, that's down from 739 during the same time period in 2017.

Of those 581 calls, 51 people died from the overdoses, but there might actually be more because police are still waiting on toxicology reports for 32 deaths.

But Friday, hundreds of people gathered at the Lutheran Foundation to help reduce the stigma on International Overdose Awareness Day.

Andrea Schroeder was just one many remembering loved ones who died from an overdose.

"My daughter, she didn't look like a heroin addict," she said. "When Mariah started to use heroin, she started in May of 2016. by October 2016 we lost her."

This was the second year the Lutheran Foundation hosted an event.

"It's very special because the community needs to see this. they need to know this is real," said Schroeder.

Lutheran Foundation CEO Marcia Hoff said these events are important for the community to help end the epidemic.

"People want to know what happened to my finger. Well if i had something going on up here (in my mind), more than likely they won't be asking me about it." she said.

Schroeder said now she hopes her experience will help others.

"It's heart breaking but I've decided to take that heart break and branch out into the community and help others," said Schroeder.

Some available resources in our community:

Park Center
Parkview Health
Lutheran Health Network
Fort Wayne Recovery
Bowen Center

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