St. Louis (KSDK) - Hundreds of people filled the Grand Staircase beneath the Gateway Arch Saturday night to remember those who have died from a drug overdose.
Nearly 700 names were read at the end of the ceremony. One of those was Nic O'Connell, who died from a heroin use in 2011.
"Before he died he left me a note saying he was addicted to heroin," said Nic's mother, Kelley.
"I had no idea heroin was even a problem. He was going through hell. He said it was like he had a demon in his body, like he was possessed and he had no control over his body."
Chad Sabora is a recovering heroin addict who was clinically dead from an overdose and was then revived. Before falling to the drug Sabora was a prosecuting attorney in Chicago.
"This drug doesn't care who you are or where you're from," said Sabora.
Now he's using his experience to help pass what he calls a lifesaving 911 Good Samaritan Law.
"It will allow addicts who are using together to call for help in case of an accidental overdose and they are offered limited immunity from prosecution for possession so they can call and get help."
Sabora is also pushing for easier access to Narcan, a drug used by paramedics to stop the effects of an overdose.
"It's not any kind of drug that gives you pleasure. And trust me, as someone who's been shot up with Narcan before, it's not something you want to happen. But we should have it just in case."
An number of organizations are available in the St. Louis area to help addicts and support their families.