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OhioCAN Marks International Overdose Awareness Day

photo of Cindy Koumoutzis

International Overdose Awareness Day is this Wednesday, and one Stark County group marked the occasion this weekend.

On Saturday in Canton, Ohio Change Addiction Now hosted an event to raise awareness that addiction is a disease that can affect the entire family.

Cindy Koumoutzis from North Canton is co-founder of the group’s Ohio chapter. She says recovery starts at home, and families need to work with those in recovery to rebuild trust and reconnect with spouses and siblings.

“When our kids go into treatment, they get the help, they get the treatment. And what we’re finding is, if the family remains unhealthy, our kids come back to the same unhealthy environment. And the odds of them relapsing are very high.

“Trust is broken very early in addiction and it’s a very hard thing to gain back again -- how to restore (a) unit with siblings -- because that becomes a great factor. And also spouses.”

On Wednesday night, Ohio Change Addiction Now will hold a candlelight vigil in Waterworks Park south of the McKinley National Memorial to remember local overdose victims.