Communities across the Fraser Valley are marking International Overdose Awareness Day, Aug. 31, a global event geared to raising awareness and reducing the stigma around drug-related death.
The drug overdose death rate per 100,000 in the Fraser East region, from January to July 31, was 28.4, according to B.C. Coroners Service Illicit Drugs Toxicity Deaths report.
The global Overdose Awareness Day event marked every year on Aug. 31 is aimed at fighting and preventing death by drug overdose, as well as remembering those who’ve died of it.
“Today, in every corner of the world, is International Overdose Awareness Day,” according to the founders of International Overdose Awareness Day.
“This year has been harder than most,” tweeted global event organizers.”We have lost so many loved ones. But today we remember those we’ve lost, love the people left behind, and pledge to do all we can to end overdose.”
The day is also acknowledgement of the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
In Chilliwack, a Candlelight Vigil of Remembrance is set for 6 p.m. at Salish Park, organized by the Chilliwack Overdose Prevention Society (OPS).
“We will be holding a candlelight vigil for the ones we’ve lost in our community,” said organizers with Chilliwack OPS on Facebook. “We will have purple ribbons for anyone who wants one.”
In Mission, community members are invited to take an ‘art walk’ from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. downtown where a memorial banner be hanging for those that wish to add their loved ones name in remembrance.
“International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose death is preventable. Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. They come from all walks of life.”
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