On August 31, you could learn how to save a life.
The Campbell River Community Action Team (CAT) and other community partners are holding an International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) event at Spirit Square. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will include education stations, pop-up naloxone training, community art projects and resource tables.
In 2020, 1,716 people died from the drug poisoning crisis, and Campbell River saw seven drug toxicity deaths from January until May 2021.
“While the experience of grief and loss at times feels insurmountable, we are continually humbled and amazed at the strength and resilience of those at the frontlines of this crisis,” said Sarah Delaney-Spindler, manager of AVI health and community services. “Overdose awareness day offers an opportunity for communities to come together to honour and learn from those who are on the front-lines of the drug-poisoning crisis: the families who have found the strength and motivation to become community organizers; the people who use drugs that have lost so many friends and are still able to come to the table to share the wisdom and knowledge they carry; the harm reduction, housing, and healthcare workers whose expertise, compassion, and skills are at the heart of overdose prevention and response.”
One of the important tools to help prevent these deaths is Naloxone. Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse the effects of overdose from opioids like heroin, methadone, fentanyl and morphine.
“Naloxone should be as commonly available as a first aid kit or an AED,” said Gwen Donaldson, coordinator for the CAT team. “Broad public awareness, access, and training in Naloxone use is important for preventing drug poisonings. The illicit drug supply is highly contaminated right now; so, as people start socializing and getting back together for larger public events, you never know when someone in any group, may be using substances that could cause them to experience a poisoning. In these cases, having naloxone on hand and being trained to use it, could save a life.”
IOAD provides an opportunity to give people the kind of awareness and training that could help save lives in the community. It is also a chance to remember those lost during the crisis, and to help prevent future drug poisonings.
The Community Action Team invites the public to come down to Overdose Awareness Day, learn about local resources, take a naloxone training, or participate in the community art projects. More information about the Community Action Team can be found at: www.communityactioncr.ca, and more information about International Overdose Awareness Day at: https://www.overdoseday.com.