Two months ago, the “Up with Hope, Out with Dope” community event in Hagerstown began as a way to deal with the drug epidemic in our nation.
Organized by church officials from the Kingdom Ecclesia Ministries, the event at Hagerstown City Park brought former addicts and advocates to speak of the ongoing opioid crisis.
Washington County Health officials said from from January to June, there have been 176 overdoses, 35 of which have been fatal.
“It was my wife’s vision. One of our members had three calls in one day of people she knew that died of drug overdoses from ages 19 to 26,” said Carlos Reyes, Senior Pastor at Kingdom Ecclesia Ministries.
Hagerstown resident Robert Zellner said, “At one point I was a drug dealer, a nuisance to society and now I help give back to the community.”
If you or a loved one are seeking help, here are a list of local resources: