Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, “the world’s annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.”
In Howard County this day will be marked by an event at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City. From the event page:
Join us to celebrate recovery from Substance Use Disorders while learning what services are available in Howard County and Maryland. Importantly we bring forward those we have lost to substance use related causes. We honor by saying their names, lighting candles, and holding them in our hearts.
Together we are better! Free Registration https://www.eventbrite.com/e/international-overdose-awareness-day-tickets-376755735547
6:00-7:00 pm - Meet & Greet, Resource Kiosk, Naloxone Training
7:00-8:00 pm. - Program & Candle Lighting
International Overdose Awareness Day was established in Australia in 2001. Its goals:
- To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones in a safe environment, some for the first time without feeling guilt or shame.
- To include the greatest number of people in International Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement.
- To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose.
- To send a strong message to current and former people who use drugs that they are valued
- To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
- To provide basic information on the range of support services that are available.
- To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
- To inform people around the world about the risk of overdose. (overdoseday.com)
WMAR TV is covering International Overdose Day with this piece featuring HoCo locals Beth Harbinson of Sobar and Debbie Nix (Addiction Support in Howard County)
‘Overdose does not discriminate’: Howard County Mom encourages people to learn about addiction, prevention
I’ve written about both women before. I found this quote from Ms. Nix - - about the process of recovery - - this morning when doing research for today’s post:
It works if you work it! Any way you participate in recovery, I am proud of you and want you to know that you are loved, your life matters and you bring light into this life. If it's one day or 30 years or more, recovery happens moment by moment. Be brave and keep on keeping on. You are not alone!
It seems to me that this quote is equally relevant to those who live with the grief of losing a loved one to addiction and overdose. It’s a long and arduous journey. The healing happens moment by moment.
The event in Ellicott City this evening might be a helpful step along the way, a respite from the work of grief and a reminder that you are not alone.