Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day
The Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Board of Lorain County will be joined by fellow Lorain County Opioid Action Team partners to hold a vigil on August 31 on International Overdose Awareness Day. The vigil will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Lakeview Terrace at Lakeview Park in memory of the 138 lives tragically lost in Lorain County in 2020 due to accidental overdose.
“Each year, the number of Lorain County residents who die from accidental overdose continues to rise and it is a problem not only in our area but around the country,” said MHARS Executive Director Michael Doud. “By increasing the public’s awareness of their proximity to those struggling with substance use disorder and reducing the stigma of drug-related deaths, we can all do our part to reduce the number of our loved ones lost to overdose.”
This year’s event will feature a candlelight vigil and shoe display memorializing those who have walked the road of addiction and died. In addition, those in recovery and the families of those lost to overdose will share their stories. Community partners will also be on hand to share important resources. The event is free and open to the public.
Leading up to the event, two free trainings will be held in August. All are invited to these trainings especially persons in recovery, the loved ones of those struggling with addiction, first responders, counselors, social workers, medical personnel, faith leaders, veterans, teachers, business leaders and community members:
- The Addiction Policy Forum and Recovery Ohio will conduct “enCompass: A Comprehensive Training on Navigating Addiction” on Aug. 26, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This virtual training is open to anyone interested in building skills to support and respond to someone in need of immediate help. RSVP at https://www.addictionpolicy.org/post/lorain-county-encompass-training.
- “Lorain County’s First Response Training Series: Preventing Opioid Deaths” will be held virtually on Aug. 17, 2021 from 1-3:30 p.m. Registration is open at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PAT21JZPTPe2zeu-4FMfQA
In 2019, there were a record 874 IOAD events of all kinds, held in 39 countries. Last year, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, the world united again to hold 602 events. People and communities come together annually to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises – one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent World Annual Drug Report, 585,000 people around the world died as a result of drug use in 2017. Statistics for 2020 show that the situation has become even more critical since the current pandemic began, decreasing tolerance of people who struggle with substance user disorder and disrupting both services and the drug supply chain.
Those who are unable to attend the event but would like to support from afar are welcome to light up their homes in purple on August 31. They are also encouraged to wear purple at home, school and/or work and share photos of their gatherings on social media with the hashtag #EndOverdose.