Rockland: Town holds candlelight vigil for those lost to drugs

Hundreds attend Rockland Candlelight Vigil




Rockland Cares sponsored a candlelight vigil at the Holy Family Church Thursday night, to remember those who have died from drug addiction.

Hundreds of people turned out for the candlelight vigil outside the church and to listen to various speakers inside, share their stories of sadness, hope and recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

One of those speakers, 21 year old Rockland resident Adam Straughn, lost two close friends over the last year, to heroin overdoses.

“A year has passed since I lost my closest friend and this past summer, I yet again lost another close friend, both to heroin overdoses. These are friends whom I thought would be always be my side. When I sat in DARE class in 7th grade and my teacher and coach later on in life, Rob Leary, told us about the dangers of drugs, I thought the chances of anyone of my friends actually doing anything except smoking and drinking, was as likely as a tornado coming through Rockland and taking away my house. Well, that tornado has come and for many of us here, our lives and homes have been left severely damaged in its wake”, Straughn told the audience.

Rockland High School Assistant Principle Susan Patton is a member of Rockland Cares, which sponsored the event.

“We want to offer people hope and we want to offer people solace. Tonight, there were people that lost a son and friends to addiction. We can’t offer them hope for their losses, but we can offer them solace and say it’s not for nothing; come on out, join us and let’s see if we can get the word out”, Patton said.

The vigil caps off a week of events by Rockland Cares, to raise awareness about drug and alcohol addiction.

About John Penny