By Louisa Moller

BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – Brett Bramble walks with a cart, two companions, some dogs, and a mission to spread awareness of the opioid crisis.

Four years ago, his sister, Brittany, died from an opioid overdose after she started taking prescriptions for back pain.

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“My mom had to tell me my sister was dead. That happened,” Bramble said. “And when Brittany died is when I learned how many other families were going through the same thing.”

Brett Bramble (WBZ-TV)

Bramble decided to dedicate his life to helping others who struggle with addiction. He started with a walk across America.

Now, he is walking up the East Coast. His journey started in Key West, Florida and will end in Maine.

“We talk to people with track marks in their arms and they tell us, thank you, keep doing what you’re doing,” Bramble said.

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On Wednesday, Bramble stopped in Bridgewater to speak at an addiction ministry at Trinity Episcopal Church. It is called Friends of Emmett, in honor of Emmett Scannell who died from an opioid overdose.

Brett Bramble speaks at a church in Bridgewater (WBZ-TV)

Emmett’s mother, Aimee Manzoni-D’Arpino, says the ministry, and actions like Bramble’s, help eliminate the stigma surrounding opioids.

“We want to talk about our loved ones. I want to talk about my son, Emmett. He was amazing. He just had a horrible disease,” Manzoni-D’Arpino said.

With hundreds of miles still to go in his journey, Bramble says opening up is his most important step.

“Bringing people together with compassion and understanding and no judgment,” Bramble said.

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Opioid Recovery Resources

Louisa Moller