It can happen to any family. That\u2019s the reality Shelton\u2019s Julia Markarian has learned all too well since losing her son, Stephen Medeiros, to a drug overdose six years ago. And, while Markarian's and her family\u2019s lives are forever changed, she believes in the reality of hope and recovery too. That\u2019s what encouraged her to start the Fighting Against Drugs Everywhere (FADE) 5K four years ago, in her son\u2019s memory. The FADE 5K returns to the Shelton Riverwalk Pavilion on Thursday, Aug. 30 \u2014 promoting hope, healing recovery and erasing stigma. \u201cIt\u2019s about bringing awareness and showing people there is nothing to be ashamed of,\u201d Markarian said. \u201cResources are out there.\u201d Supporting prevention and addiction resources is one of the goals of the event. Proceeds are donated to BHCare, which offers regional mental health and addiction services. Pam Mautte, who is the director of the Alliance for Prevention & Wellness at BHCare, said the money from the event goes directly to youth-based substance abuse prevention. The 5K includes speakers and tables with resources to reach out to the community. Mautte said those resources have connected people to services and support groups in past years. \u201cThe event has tripled in size over the past couple of years and what\u2019s really special is how the community comes together,\u201d Mautte said. \u201cAddiction is a disease and we need to be talking about it.\u201d Drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths continue to rise at an alarming rate. Last year, 1,038 Connecticut residents died due to drug overdoses, according to BHCare. Both prescription painkillers and heroin are contributing to this phenomenon according to the agency. \u201cPrevention does work and we\u2019re saving lives,\u201d Mautte said. \u00a0 Markarian\u2019s said it is bittersweet to see that addiction services and help have grown so much since her son\u2019s death. Markarian\u2019s son sought help on multiple occasions but she wishes more help had been available. \u201cThen, I didn\u2019t have all these resources \u2014 I didn\u2019t know where to go,\u201d Markarian said. \u201cI hear stories of recovery now \u2014 my son didn\u2019t make it \u2014 but I\u2019m really glad someone else does.\u201d Event details The FADE 5K starts at 5:45 p.m. at the Shelton Pavilion and Riverwalk on Aug. 30. This year\u2019s event will include a professionally-timed sunset 5K run\/walk, live music, resource fair and will conclude with a candlelight remembrance ceremony. Names will be read of loved ones lost to overdose. People can submit names at the event to be read aloud. This year\u2019s race will take a different route than the prior year, crossing over the Derby-Shelton Bridge and back. Early Registration is $25, plus a $2.50 sign up fee and a free T-shirt if you register before August 17. Race day registration is $30. Last year, more than 150 participants signed up and Markarian is hoping for similar, if not better, participation this year. She encourages everyone to join the cause and show their support for those struggling with addiction. \u201cI want this event to be about hope,\u201d she said. Sign up now at RunSignUp.com and find more information online at Facebook.com\/FightingAgainstDrugsEverywhere.