Wallingford event remembers victims of opioid addiction

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — An event Thursday night in Wallingford acknowledged those impacted by opioid addiction. It was held during National Red Ribbon Week, which aims to bring communities together to take a stand against drugs.

The ceremony was held to remember victims of opioid addiction, and to make the public more aware of the problem.

Jennifer Short is a co-founder of the Coalition for a Better Wallingford, which organized the event. For her, this is personal.

“Five years ago I lost my daughter, Taylor Short, at the age of 20, to an overdose, an accidental overdose,” she said.

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Addiction hasn’t just touched her family. It’s a problem in Wallingford, impacting people of all backgrounds.

The sidewalks near the Wallingford Town Hall were lined with luminaries honoring those who have dealt with addiction.

“In 2010, [2011] and [2012] we lost over 53 young adults,” Short said. “That’s over 20 young children a year.”

At the event the community protested a bill that would make it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to charge drug companies. Speakers talked about the nightmare of addiction.

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Wallingford Police Chief William Wright gave the keynote speech. He says communities need to do more to address the opioid epidemic.

“Communities such as Wallingford are working extremely hard to combat this issue,” Wright said. “We need some help. We need some help from the federal government to combat this issue.”

Wright led the walk down Main Street and Center Street. Organizers hoped it would change the way participants thought about addiction.

“I’d like to see them walk away with hope for our nation and bring awareness and break the stigma,” said Short.

The Wallingford Police Department is partnering with several different agencies in town to combat addiction.

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