CK group marks International Overdose Awareness Day

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / BackyardProduct

The Chatham-Kent Drug Awareness Council (CKDAC) is working hard to bring attention to the growing overdose crisis.

Between January and June of 2020 in Chatham-Kent, there were nearly twice as many suspected opioid-related EMS calls compared to the same time in 2019.

Monday marks International Overdose Awareness Day, an event that began in 2001 in Melbourne, Australia

“August 31st is the day when we remember those who we have lost due to drug overdose,” said CKDAC Chair Brad Davis. “It’s also a time when we can grieve and support with those who’ve lost a loved one due to substance use. And I think to also celebrate those who have overcome the grip of addiction and are moving forward on the path to recovery. It’s a day we want to get the message out that drug overdose and overdose death are potentially preventable.”

Davis added that it’s important to not get caught up in stereotypes when it comes to overdose.

“Overdose does not discriminate. We could be talking about a youth who was naively experimenting with something for the first time or a senior citizen who simply made an error in self-administering their prescription medication.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the council was unable to put on an event in-person, and instead hosted a live vigil on Facebook on Monday, August 31. People can also show their support by wearing purple, or purchasing an International Overdose Awareness Day t-shirt for $10. Those shirts are available through the United Way.

Davis encourages anyone who needs help or had a friend or family member in need, to visit their website at www.ckdac.ca for a full list of local resources.