Community event aims to raise awareness, reduce stigma, remember those who died of overdose

August 22nd, 2018

Healing our community with hope

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Aug. 22, 2018) – Communities across the world will come together on August 31, 2018 for “International Overdose Awareness Day.”  The purpose is to raise awareness, break the stigma, celebrate recovery and remember those we have loved and lost.  This tragedy is preventable!

“Anxiety, addiction (also known as substance use disorder) and drug overdoses are all treatable medical issues so there is hope,” said Allen County Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan, M.D., “Hope for a healthy life, strong relationships and living a life that matters.  Every time an overdose is reversed by using naloxone, that person has an opportunity to engage in treatment and begin a life of hope and recovery.  Do you know how to administer this life saving and hope producing safe medicine?”

On August 31, 2018, Allen County residents are invited to attend a free community event, “Healing Our Community with Hope”, which will feature a walk, balloon release, naloxone training, resources/support, performance by a local band and vigil.  The event is open to the public and will be held at Lutheran Park & Garden (3024 Fairfield Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46807) from 5-8 p.m.  Those who would like to attend are welcome to register on Eventbrite (click here for direct link), although registration is optional and not required.  If you have lost a loved one to overdose, please bring a picture or treasured item to display at the vigil.  In honor of the day, the lights on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge in Fort Wayne will be purple.

“Through this event, our goal is to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death,” said The Lutheran Foundation CEO Marcia Haaff, “We also, acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. We want to spread the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Healing our community with hope.”

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