International Overdose Awareness Day will be observed in Powell River on Thursday, August 29. The day highlights an issue of critical significance to Powell River, according to resident Darlana Treloar.
In May 2016, Treloar lost her 27-year-old son Sean to fentanyl poisoning after battling his addiction to prescription pills as a family for close to 10 years. That year there were six deaths attributed to heroin, fentanyl, morphine or prescription painkillers in the community. Today, it remains a serious issue in town.
“Powell River is second to Vancouver in overdose deaths for two years in a row now, according to [Vancouver Coastal Health] in our region,” said Treloar. “So it’s really important for our community to do these events.”
A march will start at city hall at 6 pm, ending up at Willingdon Beach. There will be naloxone training, an information table, a memorial table where people are invited to bring pictures of their loved ones, speakers and a candlelight vigil.
Everyone is invited to come and support those who have lost someone, said Treloar.
“It’s a memorial,” she added. “It’s to help remember those who have died and suffered permanent injury due to overdose.”
It is important to raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding substance use and drug-related deaths, according to Treloar, as it is an issue that touches the whole community.
“People need to know they are not alone,” she said. “It keeps people from reaching out for help.”
For more information, contact Treloar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Overdose Awareness Day is observed globally on August 31 every year.