County to participate in Overdose Awareness Day, Aug. 31

As part of Chester County’s commitment to tackle the opioid and heroin epidemic, the County’s Department of Drug & Alcohol Services announces the County’s participation in “International Overdose Awareness Day” on Thursday, August 31, 2017.  On this day, the County will be joining communities around the world in encouraging residents, businesses and organizations to raise awareness of overdose, reduce the stigma surrounding overdose, remember the lives lost to overdose and acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends who have lost a loved one.

To mark the occasion, 97 pinwheels will be displayed in front of the Chester County Justice Center on Market Street in West Chester and the Chester County Government Services Center on Westtown Road, representing the 97 lives lost to overdose in Chester County in 2016.  In addition, citizens are invited to participate in a moment of silence on August 31st at 9:30 a.m. to remember those lost to overdose and the loved ones left behind.

“Sadly, we lost nearly 100 lives to accidental drug overdose in Chester County in 2016, and we are on track to exceed that number in 2017,” said Vince Brown, Executive Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.

“Our community, as well as our country, faces an opioid and heroin epidemic and the disease of addiction knows no bounds,” he added. “Addiction does not discriminate against age, race, socioeconomic status or education level.”

Several Chester County organizations will be holding events on August 31st in honor of “International Overdose Awareness Day”. Events include:

  • International Overdose Awareness Day Vigil hosted by community members, at New Garden Township Hall, 299 Starr Road, Landenberg from 7:00pm-8:30pm. This service will include featured speakers and a remembrance of those lost to overdose through a memory wall display of pictures.
  • Candlelight Vigil hosted by Kacie’s Cause, at First Baptist Church, 415 W. State Street, Kennett Square from 7:00pm-8:30pm. This event will include featured speakers, a lighting of candles and “open mic” share for the attendees.
  • “Building Community, Sharing Hope” hosted by Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT), at Charles A. Melton Center, 501 E. Miner Street, West Chesterfrom 5:30pm-8:00pm. This event will include a buffet dinner, several keynote speakers, audience sharing and a moment of silence with a luminary ceremony to remember the victims of the disease of addiction. This event is free to the public but registration is required.  Register on Facebook or via our website.

Chester County remains committed to tackling the opioid and heroin epidemic trough intensive health, education, treatment and law enforcement measures, coordinated by its Overdose Prevention Task Force.  The County’s 2017 Color 5K event, aimed at raising awareness, reducing the stigma and raising funds to support overdose survivors, their families and friends, will be held in Everhart Park in West Chester on Saturday morning, November 4th.

For more information and resources on all drug and alcohol services and programs, visit the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services website, or call the Chester County Information and Referral line at 866-286-3767.

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