Overdose awareness walk seeks to combat addiction in Ocean View

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Dozens marched across Ocean View on Thursday night, aiming to shed light on deadly addictions.

Susan Taylor-Razo helped to organize the second annual overdose awareness walk, beginning at the neighborhood’s park.

“I want to have community involvement,” she said, holding a poster with pictures of local people who died from overdoses. “These people were family members, they were loved ones. Their lives mattered. They weren’t junkies, they were people.”

Before taking to the streets, several people shared their stories of having lost loved ones to addiction.

“Nobody has to die,” said Beverly Burge, sharing how she lost her partner to years of substance abuse.

She, too, battled drug addictions and spent years in and out of jail. Today, she’s two years clean, serving as an example that overcoming substance abuse is possible.

“There is no hope in dope,” she told 10 On Your Side. “You get up and you make a decision… you can start your day over again at any time.”

In the year since the first walk took place, Taylor-Razo said she feels that progress has been made.

“The stigma is kind of going away I think.”

But she said there is still plenty of work to be done.

“It’s not just a few people that need to do this, it’s not just a few people that need to help once a year, it has to be all year round,” Taylor-Razo said.

The Norfolk Prevention Coalition was present for the event, passing out literature and providing support. Anyone who is interested in contacting the group can call 757-823-1658.