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 Monday, August 31, 2020. 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 overdoses and drug related deaths, 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, 104 pinwheels will be displayed in front of the Chester County Justice Center on Market Street in West Chester and the West Chester Borough Building on Gay Street in West Chester, representing the 104 lives lost to accidental overdose in Chester County in 2019. In addition, citizens are invited to participate in a social media campaign in which a pinwheel graphic is shared to remember loved ones and spread awareness on that day.
“Again this year, we join communities across the country to remember the lives lost to, and those still battling substance use disorders,” said Vince Brown, Executive Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.
“Although we saw a slight decline in accidental overdoses here in the county last year, substance use disorders are still extremely prevalent,” he added. “We encourage residents, businesses and community groups to join us in raising awareness of substance use disorders, reducing the stigma, and acknowledge the lives we have lost to accidental overdose.”
In years past, “in-person” events have been held on August 31st in honor of “International Overdose Awareness Day”. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chester County Department of Drug & Alcohol Services encourages all partners and county residents to participate in a virtual social media campaign:
Download and save the International Overdose Awareness Day Pinwheel graphic. Upload the graphic to your personal or business social media account with a message remembering loved ones, or information on International Overdose Awareness Day. Be sure to use the hashtag #ChescoIOAD.
Experience the community by checking out the hashtag #ChescoIOAD on your social media account to see others who have posted.
Chester County remains committed to tackling the opioid and heroin epidemic through health, education, treatment and law enforcement measures, coordinated by its Overdose Prevention Task Force. The task force has over 40 community partner organizations involved.
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.