A candlelight vigil will be held on Thursday, July 16 in Ambridge to raise awareness about the growing drug epidemic in the community.
Laura Propst, president and founder, said the goal is to focus on towns struggling with addiction in an attempt to reverse the growing epidemic that is killing loved ones and destroying communities.
It begins with a pre-vigil rally at 5:45 p.m. followed by a vigil at 7 p.m. in PJ Caul Park at 11th and Merchant streets.
Dr. Neil Capretto, medical director for Gateway Rehabilitation Center, is the guest speaker.
Propst said this is the first time the organization--the second chapter of seven to start in the U.S.-- has gone outside of the county seat and into a Beaver County community. The first vigil that was held in Beaver attracted more than 200 people, she said.
Like many towns, Propst said Ambridge has a deep-rooted drug problem.
Some habits start with prescription pain medication, an opioid like heroin. When someone can't get prescription opioids, she said heroin can become a more accessible, cheaper option.
"We're on a mission to reduce the stigma of addiction and we're trying to encourage those who are suffering from an opiate dependency, to have the ability to know that there's people out there on their side, who care about them."
As part of the awareness campaign, the nonprofit works to encourage first responders and law enforcement officials to carry nalaxone--also known by the trademark Narcan--used to revive victims of opioid overdose.
Three people died from heroin overdoses in Ambridge over a one-week period in early 2014.
Propst said people who are doing outreach with Not One More see heroin and drug use as a problem in local communities throughout the region. Similar vigils are planned Aug. 6 in Washington, Pa. and in Lawrenceville on Sept. 17.
"Heroin and these drugs, they do not discriminate. It's getting anybody in any income level, in any type of neighborhood, and Ambridge has just been very hard-hit," said Propst, whose father lived his entire life on Duss Avenue in Ambridge.
The candlelight vigil will be held rain or shine. Attendees are invited to bring chairs or blankets.
For more information visit NotOneMorePgh.net