Little Rock, AR — The Parker Gill Foundation, Hope Movement Coalition and Natural State Recovery Centers is encouraging Arkansans to observe International Overdose Awareness Day, a time to remember those we have lost to drug overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury because of drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose death is preventable. Opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed in recent years. Of the 70,980 drug overdoses that occurred in 2019 (a rise of 4.6%), more than 50,042 involved opioids, according to data from CDC.
“Addiction touches the lives of many Americans, and these deaths are completely preventable,” Christopher S. Dickie, CEO of Natural State Recovery, said in an August press release. “International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity for those who have lost loved ones to remember and reflect. It is also a time to reduce stigma and prevent future deaths by supporting education and advocacy efforts.”
This year on Monday, August 31th, we will meet at the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge at 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR at 7:00 to observe Overdose Awareness Day. Individuals who have lost someone from an overdose will join together with individuals in recovery to stand united on the bridge to pay tribute to the lives lost and to share the hope of recovery as the bridges of Little Rock are lit purple at sunset.
The Can You See Me Now banners featured on Wake Up Central will be on display. This campaign, started by an Arkansas mom in 2019, has grown to include 2700 faces of individuals from across the United States that have lost their lives to overdose. The number of faces continue to grow as new faces are added daily.