Huber Heights concert puts heroin epidemic at center stage

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – An actor from a popular television came to the Miami Valley to host a concert, raising awareness abut the drug epidemic gripping the region.

Montgomery County is projecting a record number of overdoses for the year.

In a effort to stop that, the a concert was held at the Rip Rap Roadhouse. It’s part of a nationwide “Kick It” tour..

Santiago Cirilo, an actor on the show, The Walking Dead – came up with the idea. He said he wants to save lives through entertainment.

“We literally wanted to launch it at the mecca of the heroin epidemic and that is Ohio, and we’re kicking it off here in Dayton,” Cirilo said.

Former heroin addict,  Amanda Quimper was at the event. She’s now working to make a difference, helping others with their recovery.

“We need more resources and outlets to reach people” she said.

“Different platforms that are open minded, nonjudgmental and all-loving.”

Taking note of the rising number of overdoses in the region, Lorie Erion of Families of Addicts said the crisis affects everyone.

“When we were growing up, we were afraid of heroin,” Erion said.

“We might do all the drugs except that. You know, ‘except that’. And it’s not like that today. There’s no ‘except that’.”

Cirilo, who was raised in Ohio, said he was motivated to launch the nationwide tour after getting news from friends and family about how big the drug epidemic has gotten.

“It’s been taking lives,” he said.

“Some of my friends lives. I’ve seen pictures of friends that overdosed from the news media, they show them.

“I’ve seen friends going to jail that I knew from when I was a kid and now they’re in jail because of it.”

The event cost $10 to attend. Fifty percent of proceeds are going towards Families of Addicts.

 

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