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Overdose awareness rally brings Galveston community together

Posted at 11:43 PM, Aug 31, 2017

GALVESTON, Ind. -- ... Andrew Gibson. Kevin Jones. Michael Todd Patrick. ...

The dozens of names of people who died from overdoses may seem to run together, but the people in the crowd listening to the list at a candlelight rally Thursday night were hanging on every somber word.

The rally in Cass County, Indiana was to remember loved ones, share stories, and learn about tips on treating overdoses.

… Andrew Justice. Natasha Kennedy. Julia Jones. …

The rally was organized by Mike Boyles, the father of 23-year-old Austin Boyles. Austin overdosed in June 2016 on heroin laced with fentanyl. Austin had a back injury, and was prescribed opioids, like so many people are. When those ran out, he turned to street drugs.

“After he died, I just couldn’t imagine what my life was going to be,” Mike said. “I didn’t imagine if I was going to smile or laugh.”

As a result, he launched Austin’s Hope – a nonprofit organization to help addicts and their families.

“After he passed, I decided I wasn’t ashamed of him,” Mike said. “I wasn’t ashamed of his addiction.”

The group started as a Facebook page, then grew to more as people needed support groups. The Facebook page has 1,200 likes.

… Jessica Green. Richard Vanhart. Daniel James Hardwood. …

Mike said he used to think people who used drugs like that were famous people, like rock stars.

“We came to find out the drug epidemic is way farther than that,” he said. “It’s people from every walk of life.”

Mike hopes his group can eventually turn into a recovery home.

Austin’s Hope accepts donations in exchange for purple wristbands that read, “Every overdose is someone’s child.” For more information on Austin's Hope, click here.

... Eli Snyder. Lance Jackson. Scott Berry. ...

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