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Candlelight Vigil Will Mark Lives Lost To Addiction, Coronavirus

Patch logo Patch 5/5/2021 Lisa Finn
a group of people watching a band on stage in front of a crowd: The community will gather in Hampton Bays on Mother's Day Even to remember those lost to addiction. © Patch file photo / Drew Scott The community will gather in Hampton Bays on Mother's Day Even to remember those lost to addiction.

HAMPTON BAYS, NY— A candlelight vigil will be held Saturday night, on Mother's Day Eve, to remember lives lost to addiction and the coronavirus pandemic.

The gathering, organized by the Southampton Town Addiction and Recovery Committee, will be held at Good Ground Park, beginning at 7 p.m.

"This annual event has grown over the years, to remember those lost to addiction," town officials said. "Unfortunately, last year we could not hold the vigil because of the pandemic. And ironically, the number of overdose deaths were declining before the pandemic hit. But the stress of the pandemic has caused an increase in overdoses."

Others, the town said, are mourning those lost to the coronavirus. "We are inviting those who lost a loved one from the pandemic to join together with those who have lost a loved one to addiction to shed light on this terrible tragedy," town officials said.

Drew Scott, co-chair of the task force, lost his beautiful, talented granddaughter Hallie Ulrich to an overdose.

“I don’t think there is a better way to go back to work by using the candlelight vigil as a launch for 2021," Scott said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pandemic sparked an uptick in overdose deaths: A total of 81,000 drug overdose deaths were reported in the United States in the 12 months ending in May, 2020 — the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to provisional data from the CDC.

“The disruption to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit those with substance use disorder hard,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D. “As we continue the fight to end this pandemic, it’s important to not lose sight of different groups being affected in other ways. We need to take care of people suffering from unintended consequences.”

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