SUFFOLK, Long Island (WABC) -- Community members in Suffolk County were joined by elected officials to bring awareness to the growing fentanyl crisis.
Parents who lost children and representatives from the alcohol and drug dependence treatment community gathered Tuesday morning to sound the alarm about the deadly crisis claiming so many lives.
"I just recently lost my son April 4th of this year," Joanne Pacheco said. "He was 28-years-old."
The emotion is still raw for Joanne who lost her son Spencer exactly five weeks ago.
"My son was a beautiful soul," Joanne said. "He made everybody laugh and unfortunately, yes he was sick with a disease and I fought it with him and I was dying with him."
More than 1,500 die per week from opioid overdose in the United States according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
"Illicit fentanyl claims one life every eight and a half minutes," Sufolk County Legislator Kara Hahn said. "That is why during this event we will ring a bell and drop a pebble every 8 and a half minutes."
The Health Center said New York's opioid death rate exceeded the national death rate in 2020 and 2021.
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