Marked by events taking place across the world, the fourth annual International Overdose Awareness Day, sponsored by Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC), is designed to encourage expanded treatment for addicts and reduced stigma of addiction. The event is taking place locally at Veteran’s Park in Lockport at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31. It can also be viewed live online by individuals at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE5FpJLs_wU.
Face masks and hand sanitizer will be provided, and a 6-foot social distancing is required. In keeping with New York state guidelines, there can be a maximum of 50 in-person attendees, so organizers added the option to participate virtually. For participants with hearing impairments, CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) on the livestream will provide open captions with a running transcription of what is being said.
A press release said, “Far too many families everywhere are being affected by overdose; that includes right here in Niagara County. Because of this, the need to raise awareness is greater than ever! To deal with the issue directly, two years ago, ILNC formed Addict-2-Addict Niagara, in which peers who have recovered from addictions counsel those who feel ready to deal with theirs.”
The local event will include:
•Information on how to obtain free Narcan (emergency opioid overdose treatment) training.
•Speakers from different backgrounds affected by overdose, including Tom Byrne.
•A candlelight vigil with a bell ringing ceremony at dusk for every life lost to overdose in Niagara and surrounding counties in 2019.
•Purple shirts (the color of overdose awareness) will be sold. They are $15 each or two for $25. Proceeds will be donated to Addict-2-Addict Niagara.