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Time to remember loved ones and end overdose

Time to remember loved ones and end overdose

Local communities in Ohio and around the world are coming together to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose.

EAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO — River Valley Organizing is recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day with free community events in East Liverpool and Portsmouth on Saturday, August 27. 

Observed on the 31st of August every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.

River Valley Organizing’s East Liverpool event will feature a hip hop showcase with performances by local artists, Musicians Against the War on Drugs, at the Finish Line Bar & Grill, 1120 Pennsylvania Ave on August 27 at 6:30pm. 

The Portsmouth event will take place on August 27 at 6:30pm at Bannon Park, 14th St. There will be free food, narcan, and other resources. Harm reduction leaders and those personally impacted by the war on drugs are scheduled to speak. Attendees are invited to bring a photograph of their loved one lost to overdose to place on the event’s memorial. 

“We encourage members of the community with lived experience to come to our events and to stand in solidarity with those who have been personally affected by overdose,” said Nancy Woods, Portsmouth event organizer.

By holding these events this year, the people of the Ohio River Valley are joining a global movement for understanding, compassion, and change.In 2021, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, the world united to hold hundreds of IOAD events of all kinds in at least 37 countries.

People and communities come together annually to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises — one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent World Annual Drug Report, nearly half a million people around the world died as a result of drug use in 2019.

“Overdose can affect anybody and one of the messages of this day is that the people who overdose are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters — they are loved and they are missed,” said Thomas Powell, East Liverpool event organizer.

For event updates, visit River Valley Organizing’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/RiverValleyOrganizing.


ABOUT RIVER VALLEY ORGANIZING: River Valley Organizing is comprised of leaders committed to restorative and transformative solutions for public health and justice that DEFY the isolation of incarceration, the impacts of racialized drug policies, the desolation of environmental degradation, and violent policing; empowering and strengthening the health and morale for ALL! They are creating a multi-racial, multicultural working class organization that radically builds community outside of existing institutions and exclusively centers the leadership of affected members to build community power.