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SUNY Broome Hosts Binghamton Heroin Awareness Night

It was a full house at the SUNY Broome gym as local officials and community members gathered to raise awareness and fight back against the heroin epidemic.

"He was someone who made you feel like you were his best friend as soon as he met you", says Penny Stringfield

This is how Penny Stringfield says she likes to remember her son, John Stringfield Jr.

Two months ago the 24 year-old died from a heroin overdoes after battling the opioid addiction for 6 years.

"He was in a center for a couple of weeks, he'd get clean, he'd do well he'd get out for a few months and then he would relapse," says Springfield

According to Stringfiel, her son was one of 30 people to die of a heroin related cause in Broome County since the start of 2015.

This rapid increase in heroin related deaths have those in community ramping up efforts to raise awareness.

Joe Gonzalez, co-founder of "I'mdopewithoutdope" says, "It allows the community to see these people that are trying to fight this every single day."

Local Officials say that each and every community member can help end this epidemic.

Broome County Legislator Jason Garnar says,"Get involved with some of the organizations, the out reach organizations.Talk to your local legislators, look around your neighborhoods and work with people."

Those in the community are hopeful that increasing awareness and support will help save the lives of people struggling with heroin addiction, like Penny's son.

Stringfield says, "If I can do anything to so that another parent does not have to go through what we've gone through then Johnny's life won't have been in vain."