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Father who lost son to heroin OD hangs anti-drug banners over Rt. 490

Drivers who commuted down Rt. 490 Wednesday may have seen giant sheets hanging from some overpasses. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Drivers who commuted down Rt. 490 Wednesday may have seen giant sheets hanging from some overpasses.

The sheets with anti-drug messages were painted on by Rocco Stagnitto.

Stagnitto made the signs and went to each overpass Wednesday morning to bring the message of recovery to anyone who looked up.

Stagnitto's son Tony died last October of an apparent heroin overdose.

He and others who have lost friends and family to drugs created the banners to get the community talking about this epidemic.

"I feel like I need to spend the rest of my life redeeming his memory and redeeming myself by not taking it serious enough," Stagnitto said. "I don't want anybody else to go through that. Parents that lose a kid, it's unbearable."

David Attridge, executive director for Recovery Now NY, said people need to be actively fighting against this crisis.

"We're all about action right now - awareness - doing something about it because we are losing way too many people that are close to us," Attridge said.

So far, Stagnitto and his team have made 14 sheets with these messages. They say they plan to make many more.

"People need to get involved and do something, because the world ain't gonna change itself," Stagnitto added.

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