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Posted on: August 21, 2018

Chester County to Participate in “International Overdose Awareness Day”

International Overdose Awareness Day pinwheels at Justice Center 2017

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 Friday, August 31, 2018.  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, 144 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 144 lives lost to accidental overdose in Chester County in 2017.  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, Chester County lost more loved ones to accidental drug overdose last year than in previous years,” said Vince Brown, Executive Director of the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.

“Our community, as well as our country, continues to face 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:

  • Candlelight Vigil hosted by Kacie’s Cause at First Baptist Church, 415 W. State Street, Kennett Square, Pa 19348 from 7:00pm-8:00pm. This event will include featured speakers, a lighting of candles and “open mic” share for the attendees.  


  • Candlelight Vigil hosted by Kacie’s Cause at The Green of Oxford Presbyterian Church, 3rd Street, Oxford, Pa 19363 from 7:00pm-9:00pm. This event will include featured speakers, a lighting of candles, ABE the pony, the Kacie’s Cause Mascot, 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 Chester, from 6:00pm-8:00pm. This event will include a free buffet dinner, free Narcan®, several keynote speakers, recovery resources, and a moment of silence with a luminary ceremony to remember the victims of the disease of addiction.


Chester County remains committed to tackling the opioid and heroin epidemic through intensive health, education, treatment and law enforcement measures, coordinated by its Overdose Prevention Task Force.  The County recently announced the date of its 2018 Chester County Color 5K, an event aimed at raising awareness, reducing the stigma and raising funds to support overdose survivors, their families and friends.  The Chester County Color 5K will be held in Everhart Park in West Chester on Saturday morning, November 10th. For more information on the Color 5K Walk/Run, go to www.chesco.org/color5k.
 
For more information and resources on all drug and alcohol services and programs, visit the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services website: chesco.org/DrugandAlcohol, or call the Chester County Information and Referral line at 866-286-3767.


Photo Caption:  Last year, 97 pinwheels were displayed at the Chester County Justice Center for International Overdose Awareness Day – representing the 97 lives lost in 2016 to accidental drug overdose.  This year’s display of pinwheels will increase to represent the 144 lives lost to accidental drug overdose in 2017.

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