A Dover Township woman who lost her son when he took pure fentanyl is holding an anti-heroin rally in Dover on Saturday.
Vickie Glatfelter said she's hoping to start a conversation about heroin use in York County while also educating people on its dangers and how to get treatment.
Though rural Dover may not seem like a place heroin addicts would call home, Glatfelter said the drug is in the small town and others like it.
"People in Dover won't want to face that it's here," she said. "It's a community problem."
One the first steps in spreading awareness is to start talking about heroin, a conversation some may find uncomfortable.
The rally: Numerous York County officials are expected to attend and speak at the rally, which starts at noon at Dover High School, 46 W. Canal St.
York County Coroner Pam Gay, chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday of the district attorney's office and others are expected to address the crowd at the school's parking lot, Glatfelter said.
From there, attendees will "take their message to the street," and head to the square in Dover where they'll line the streets, she said.
Information about the signs of addiction and where to find help will be available. The rally ends at 3 p.m.
Felt by family: Glatfelter said she was prompted to organize the rally by the death of her son, Robert Glatfelter III.
Like all addictions, heroin not only affects those who use it but also, and sometimes to a greater extent, the families of addicts.
Robert Glatfelter, 28, battled his heroin addiction for nearly five years until he died just 10 days after he left a rehabilitation clinic in April. He had bought what he thought was heroin, but it turned out to be pure fentanyl, Vickie Glatfelter said. He died in a motel room after ingesting the drug.
Fentanyl, which is sometimes mixed with heroin or used to replace it, is a synthetic prescription opioid typically used to treat pain.
Vickie Glatfelter said she was there for her son throughout his addiction, often holding him as he went through heroin withdraw.
His addiction and death left a lasting impact on her and the rest of his family.
"My heart is shattered in a million pieces, and I don't want any other mothers to go through what I went through," she said.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.