Overdose awareness recovery festival held in New Milford

A New Milford family has overcome heartbreak to spread a message of hope to those battling opioid addiction with their third annual Recovery Festival.
“Brian was our beautiful boy,” said Tony Morrissey, whose 20-year-old son, Brian Cody, died due to an opioid addiction four years ago.
“It changed our world. And we decided as a family that we were going to stand up and step out of the shadows. Our goal here today is to create awareness, really to celebrate the hope for recovery."
Speakers and vendors at the event shared a message to end the stigma.
“This is not a bad behavior thing,” said Tony Morrissey. “This is actually an epidemic and it’s a disease."
It’s a disease that casts a wide web. Matt Marano is a youth hero for the Brian Cody Foundation - a role he took on after losing family and friends to addiction.
“Those people played a big part in my life. I just want to see that other people can get healthy and realize that life is worth living,” said Marano. “We really see change in a community when youth are able to see and envision change."
The New Milford Green was adorned with dozens of tribute signs, each representing a loved one lost to opioid addiction. A candlelight vigil lit up the green at night - as organizers emphasized help is here.
“You are important,” said Tracey Morrissey, Brian Cody’s mother. “If you’re battling and you need help, reach out. There are people out there that love you and care about you, and can lead you in the right direction for the right help."
“We have ways to help, and we can meet you where you are,” said Tony Morrissey. “We didn’t know that when we went through our journey. We’ve learned so much, and we just want to share that."
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