CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — Parents and other loved ones held an emotional vigil in Chicago Heights on Saturday to remember those lost to overdoses.

They set up an information booth to call attention to the issue of International Overdose Awareness Day this coming Tuesday.

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After Aisha Betancourt’s daughter, BreAna, died from an overdose in 2019, Betancourt started a support group to help others parents. She wants to make sure people aren’t too embarrassed to ask for it.

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Chicago Heights Drug Overdose Victim Vigil

(Credit: Aisha Betancourt)

Chicago Heights Drug Overdose Victim Vigil

(Credit: Aisha Betancourt)

“We’ve always seen it with a stigma behind it and we criminalize it, but now that it’s happening to all walks of life, together we have to recognize it as a true problem in our country,” Betancourt said.

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Chicago Heights Drug Overdose Victim Vigil

(Credit: Aisha Betancourt)

Chicago Heights Drug Overdose Victim Vigil

(Credit: Aisha Betancourt)

Betancourt also wants to educate people about Narcan, or naloxone, a drug that can counteract a suspected opioid overdose – and encourage people to have it on hand.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff