Lighting honors those lost to overdose, overdose survivors, and providers who assist people struggling with addiction
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced multiple landmarks and bridges across New York will be illuminated in purple and silver to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day. The event, recognized around the world, focuses on ending overdose and stigma, remembering those who have died, and acknowledging the grief of family and friends left behind.
“Like many New Yorkers, I’ve witnessed first-hand the impact addiction and substance use has on families,” Hochul said. “As we recognize International Overdose Awareness Day, I encourage all New Yorkers to join us in supporting overdose survivors, remembering those lost to addiction, and celebrating the health care providers who work every day to help individuals in their battle against addiction.”
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James V. McDonald said, “To recognize Overdose Awareness Day is to acknowledge the urgency of our shared responsibility to prevent the tragedies that lead to an overdose. In our pursuit of a healthier future, we must not only grieve those we've lost, but also channel our sorrow into actions that will help save others. Every life is precious, and embracing harm reduction programs stands as a beacon of compassion and pragmatism.”
Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said, “The opioid and overdose epidemic has affected individuals, families and communities across New York state. This observance is a reminder of the impact that this crisis has had, and gives us a chance to recognize those who have been touched by addiction, as well as offer our support and come together to stop more overdose deaths. New York remains committed to addressing this public health emergency, and working with our partners to bring vital help and support to all New Yorkers.”
Hochul’s team said, “The Department of Health fosters an environment of compassion and support by providing access to resources such as free naloxone from community statewide overdose prevention programs, including free fentanyl and xylazine test strips. We empower individuals to make safer choices and embark on journeys of healing.”
OASAS continues to support overdose prevention efforts across the state, including educational efforts through the Project COPE initiative, which offers information on how to obtain and use naloxone, how to get fentanyl and xylazine test strips, and how to find help for individuals impacted by addiction. The agency also offers free virtual naloxone trainings. A schedule of these training sessions can be found on the OASAS website.
These 14 landmarks and bridges will be illuminated in purple and silver:
Hochul’s team said, “New Yorkers are encouraged to attend a local overdose awareness activity promoted on the community calendar of Overdose Awareness Day events. In addition, on Sept. 13, join New York state's third annual statewide Overdose Awareness Days cosponsored by the state's Department of Health and Office of Addiction Services and Supports. You can learn more here about the event.”
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (short code 467369). Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, residential, or outpatient care can also be found using the OASAS treatment availability dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website.