Daytona Beach, FL - International Overdose Awareness Day is this Saturday. It's a global event held on August 31st each year since 2001. It's goal is to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Its other purpose is to help family and friends acknowledge their grief over loved ones who have met with death or serious injury as a result of a drug overdose.
Locally, Volusia Recovery Alliance is holding an evening of remembrance, education, and hope. President of the group and one of it's founders, Karen Chrapek, says the day also helps reduce the stigma of substance abuse and shows that recovery is possible. She says the mission of the Alliance is to serve those seeking recovery from the impact of addiction and it includes family, friends, and allies. Chrapek said, "The purpose of a recovery community organization is to actually mobilize resources."
On August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, the Volusia Recovery Alliance is inviting the community to Pavillion A at City Island in Daytona Beach at 5 p.m. Chrapek says it will be a day of remembrance for those that have died. A banner will be available for survivors to write their loved one's name and write down what they'd say to their loved one who's no longer here. Family members and friends are asked to bring photos and mementos of their loved ones to share on a remembrance table. She says that she hopes the day of remembrance will give hope to those in active recovery or suffering from substance abuse disorder.
Chrapek said the ultimate goal is a recovery epidemic. "Instead of focusing on the opioid crisis or the drug crisis and the drug epidemic, we want to promote recovery."