(Sean Philip Cotter/The York Dispatch)

The people attending the anti-heroin rally hadn't been standing on the corners around Dover's main square for 10 minutes before they got feedback from someone driving by.

"Hey, heroin sucks!" the motorist, who looked to be in his late 20s or early 30s, called out from his SUV. "Heroin sucks!"

The people in the rally cheered and waved their signs, which bore photos of loved ones who had died of heroin overdoses and phrases such as "Heroin does not discriminate."

That sentiment is one of the main points of the rally that started at noon Saturday, said Vickie Glatfelter, the event's organizer.

Glatfelter's son, Robert Glatfelter III, died in April from a fentanyl overdose. She wants to call attention to the fact there is no stereotypical heroin user, and that heroin is a problem in a wide range of communities -- like Dover.

(Sean Philip Cotter/The York Dispatch)

"And I'm living proof of it, through my son," she said.

Glatfelter had attended similar rallies in Hanover and York, and decided she needed to make one happen in Dover, where no such rally had been held, she said.

"His addiction started here," Glatfelter said. "This problem's here."

She said there's still too much of a stigma surrounding heroin use, so people don't talk about it enough. And that stops anyone from finding a solution, she said.

She said she hopes people see the rally's attendees holding signs. She also hopes people addicted to heroin realize they aren't alone, and there are ways to get help.


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Statistics: York County Coroner Pam Gay, chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday and Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel addressed the 30-or-so people in attendance outside Dover High School before the rally moved to the main square.

Gay told the people who had gathered there were 26 confirmed heroin-related deaths during the first six months of this year -- that's compared to nine in the same period last year.

(Sean Philip Cotter/The York Dispatch)

To date in 2014, there have been 28 confirmed heroin-related deaths, and four deaths suspected to be heroin related.

"And most of them that are possible usually come back confirmed," she told The York Dispatch after she addressed the attendees.

Standing on the curb of the square's southwest corner, Deb Ort held up a sign reading "Heroin kills -- let's stand against it together." Ort echoed her friend Vickie Glatfelter's sentiments.

"It happens in our neighborhoods," she said. "It happens to our friends."

-- Reach Sean Philip Cotter at scotter@yorkdispatch.com.