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Anti-Addiction Rally in Washington Gives Locals Hope

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By Jason Weinstein.
18 people from the Binghamton area traveled to Washington DC last weekend as part of the UNITE to Face Addiction rally. The goal of the rally was to change the conversation surrounding addiction, and bring new solutions to the addiction crisis in America.

Penny Stringfield and Ashley Montalvo came to remember the life of Penny's son Johnny. Montalvo once dated Johnny and remained his close friend until he died of an overdose in February at the age of 24.

"It's sad because I miss Johnny but it's also tears of joy just to see this movement happen," said Montalvo

President Obama addressed the crowd via video. Part of his message was that we need to end the stigma associated with addiction.

"To see how many people are involved and the message from the President it really sseems things are going to start happening. It's hopeful," said Montalvo.
Montalvo comes back to Binghamton once a month to stay connected to her friends, who still grieve over Johnny's death.