Overdose – it’s a word no one wants to hear in the same sentence with the name of their loved one. Getting a phone call from a friend, a university, or a hospital that a friend or family member has overdosed can be terrifying and traumatic for many people. Unfortunately, more and more Americans are getting those notices with increasing regularity. This is no longer an issue that affects the disenfranchised members of our society alone – nearly everyone knows someone who knows someone who has overdosed. You may have seen the recent article that came out about the 25 opiate overdoses in High Point, NC in just 16 short days. As the addiction epidemic spreads and the rate of overdose continues to overwhelm families near and far, we need a safe place to unite as a community.
August 31st in International Overdose Awareness Day, and Full Life Counseling will be uniting with surrounding communities to actively bring voice to those who might otherwise suffer in silence. We will gather at beautiful Grace Court in Historic West End at 7:30pm on Wednesday, August 31st to educate, equip, embrace and celebrate as a community.
Overdose Awareness Day provides us with a chance to memorialize the beautiful lives cut short by addiction and overdose. We have not forgotten the impact these amazing souls had on our lives and by saying their names, bringing their pictures, and telling their stories, we can make their voices heard long after they’re gone. In doing so, we can also provide support for families who have not always had a safe place to grieve.
In the United States, 43,982 people die every year from overdose – that’s 120 deaths to overdose per day (IODAD).
I am so incredibly moved by the vulnerability and sincerity put forth by families who have lost those they cherish to this disease. If you have some time (and some Kleenex) stop to read the Tributes section on the International Overdose Awareness Day website. Here’s one we picked out to exemplify why gathering together on August 31st is so important to us:
Robin Scott MacDonald – born 10 February 1970 died from an accidental heroin overdose 18 November 1997 aged just 27. Such a matter of fact statement, but what a heartache it invokes still after 19 years. On National Overdose Awareness Day, Rob, we want you to know that we remember you and miss you every single day and not just the special anniversaries, “Loved you once, love you still always have always will” -Mum and Dad xxx
Families need a place where they can express the wide range of emotions that come with losing someone to overdose without fear of shame or stigma. By uniting WITH them, we express solidarity in our hope that recovery, even from grief, is possible.
Sharing stories of hope and recovery from those who have successfully been saved by the overdose reversal drug, nalaxone or Narcan, will be part of our Overdose Awareness Day. By providing information about the miracle of naloxone and its ability to save lives, we can reinforce the concept that recovery can be possible if all people are given a chance. That requires that Narcan be made available to those who need it most! We will be discussing how to get Narcan and demonstrating how it should be used to reverse an overdose in hopes of getting someone the further medical attention they need.
Narcan saved my life and I stand before you now a changed man – a changed person. I work every single day, HARD, and I love my life I love the people in my life. Life is an amazing thing clean and sober but I wouldn’t be clean and sober without Narcan. I am the evidence. We need a place for addicts to go so they can receive Narcan – it would truly change things. -Mark
Overdose doesn’t have to be the end of the story. There is so much that happens for families after an overdose and, by uniting as a community, we can stand together in strength and in hope to face this epidemic. No one has to walk this path alone. Join us at Grace Court in Historic West End at 7:30pm on Wednesday, August 31st to learn, embrace and celebrate. Join your voice with ours to say that recovery is possible and learn more about Naloxone so that this life saving drug can prevent the deaths of our friends and our family members. Overdose is real and it’s happening – but we don’t have to turn a blind eye or be afraid to talk about it. Get out of the shadows, make your voice heard, and join us as we celebrate Overdose Awareness Day on August 31st. We welcome you to share this information anyone who would benefit from attending – the more the merrier. You can RSVP to the event here, share the hashtag #WinstonSalemOverdoseDay, and spread awareness by talking openly about your attendance. You never know who might have a story just like yours and be suffering alone. We are together, we are strong, and we remember. Come one, come all.
Helpful Fact Sheets
Spotting Opioid Overdose and What to Do
Signs of Alcohol Overdose and What to Do
Depressant Overdose Response
Recognizing Overdose from Psychoactive Substances and What to Do
Stimulant Overdose Signs and How to Respond
Crystal Meth Overdose and What to Do