The John Brower Jr. Heroes against Heroin seventh annual 5K walk is set for Saturday, Sept. 10 at Field 1 of Jones Beach. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.
The foundation raises money to fight opioid abuse on Long Island. The foundation was launched after John Brower Jr., died eight years ago from a heroin overdose, after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers prescribed. His father, John Brower Sr., a financial advisor at Vanderbilt Securities in Woodbury, was instrumental the foundation to help stop the opiate abuse pandemic in the region.
Mike Ward, a senior vice president at Vanguard, had lost his godson to a heroin overdose in 2011, after he was prescribed painkillers after a knee injury. Ward, too, is active helping to spread the word for the Heroes against Heroin walk, and Vanguard, he said, continues to fully support the foundation and its efforts.
“We’re trying to do our part so families like mine and John’s don’t go through this,” Ward said. “You never really recover from it. It rips families apart.”
And at a time when opioid addiction is widely reported in the press, “there’s a stigma attached to it, even though it happens a lot,” Ward said.
The concerns remain prevalent. According to National Survey on Drug Use and Health 9.5 million people misused opioids – heroin or prescription pain relievers – in the past year.
The danger continues, Ward said, with the “emergence of fentanyl. People do not realize that any drug you touch can be laced with fentanyl that’s incredibly lethal.”
The organization works with programs such as those from The Outreach Program, providing treatment services and education.
With the walk, he said, “we’re trying to raise money to save lives.”
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