Today, Aug. 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day.
Community Connections has hung posters with purple ribbons on the light posts on Mackenzie Ave. to raise awareness about the overdose deaths that have occurred in the community.
“Overdose awareness is important because I think that people don’t necessarily recognize the death in the same way as they would people that are dying of COVID, but in reality they are still humans and they are still dying and they are deaths that are preventable,” said Erin MacLachlan, co-director of community outreach and development for Community Connections.
MacLachlan said she wants everyone to think of each other as community members and that we want to protect our community.
For more information about drug use, stigma and overdose deaths, you can check out the Community Connections Facebook page or visit the Outreach Centre during their drop-in hours, Monday and Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Wednesday 3-6 p.m.
A public state of emergency was declared in April 2016 due to a significant rise in opioid-related deaths in B.C. The crisis has been ongoing since then with 1,011 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths between January and June of 2021, bringing the total in the province since 2016 to 7,760.