Symposium tonight on grief from addiction loss draws 200 people, 42 organizations


After the Coalition for a Drug-Free Mahoning County led a program in a local school district earlier this year, it heard back from the school the next day.

“They called and said, ‘Our teachers are struggling to teach kids who are dealing with grief because their parents or siblings have died of an overdose,’” said Angela DiVito, coalition executive director.

She knew her organization needed to do something. So, the coalition planned its first Symposium on Overdose, Grief & Healing, which took place today at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center.

What at first was supposed to be a session for teachers grew to an event that drew 200 participants – including teachers, religious leaders, emergency medical responders, and people grieving the loss of a loved one, among others – and 42 organizations. In all, nine counties were represented at the event.

The turnout, DiVito said, shows how great the need is for support for people whose lives are affected by the opioid epidemic.

Read more about the event in Friday's Vindicator or on

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