AKRON, Ohio -- An alarming surge in heroin-related overdoses and deaths in Northeast Ohio prompted a call to action in Akron Tuesday night.
A rally was held by an out-of-state activist whose non-profit group is combating the heroin epidemic head on.
Three out of 10 people in Ohio are addicted to opiates. Almost everyone across the country knows someone or has lost someone to heroin, but it's especially bad right here at home.
"I travel all over...Ohio is one of the deadliest," said Billy Pfaff, who started a non-profit grassroots group called 'Heroin is Killing My Town.'
He lost two loved ones to overdoses in his hometown of Worcester, Mass.
He quickly drove to Akron and organized Tuesday night's huge rally at Lock 3 after being contacted by multiple people upset over the recent spike in overdoses in Summit and Cuyahoga counties.
At the rally, multiple people spoke, including parents who lost their children to heroin. The rally also focused on prevention, awareness and the need for addiction recovery resources.
"In the last 12 to 14 months, I've deleted over 40 names from my contact list who I knew and loved and broke bread with who is no longer with us," said Bill 'Tiny' Lawson of the Warriors Project.
"You don't ever want to say 'not my kid, not my child' because it comes in the back door, it wipes you out, and it wipes your entire family out," said Pfaff.
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