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May 21, 2016 11:08 PM

Hundreds of people walk with messages of hope in the battle against opioids in Concord

CONCORD - One woman so moved by an event sparked hundreds of people to take to the streets Saturday to display their messages of hope in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

The walk began at Rollins Park early Saturday morning. For some, the event was emotional. One family remembered their loved one who died a year ago.

"She was very passionate about other people, so I'm having a hard time talking about it" said Peter Hoey, choking up as he talked about his daughter Meg Hoey, who died 18 months ago. Peter also spoke about his daughter's love for skiing, playing sports and life.

Meg's sister Sarah Hoey said Meg struggled for many years with mental illness, anxiety, and depression. She said her sister turned to drugs to self-medicate.

"I'm here to support all of the families who have lost somebody, because everybody has lost someone to this addiction," said Sarah.

For others walking, it was a way for them to show that recovery is possible. Moses Henry of Berlin said Saturday marked his 90th day of being sober. Henry said he's been through rehab before, and in February he hit a breaking point.

"It was coming to an end, my run was done. I had to stop. It was life or death for me," said Henry.

He said he wants others to know that drug addiction doesn't just affect the users; it also affects families and friends.

"One person can't do it alone. It takes a village," said Darlene Pina. Back in March, Pina held a walk in Nashua and it was this event that inspired Lisa Sprague of Barnstead to hold Saturday's walk.

"There was like 800 people there and it actually made me feel like I wasn't the only person going through this," said Sprague. "It actually helped me to heal in a way."

Her brother was a highly decorated veteran who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and he died a year ago Sunday.

"I don't want to spend the day being sad and upset," said Sprague, "If I can help talk to someone or help someone ... then it's all for that."

Sprague said telling her brother's story along with others sharing their struggles will help those suffering.

"Talking about it raises awareness and helps people so we don't want to be silent anymore," she said.

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