Inaugural Kelowna event planned to remember overdose victims | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Inaugural Kelowna event planned to remember overdose victims

A candlelight vigil will be held Thursday, August, 31, as part of the International Overdose Awareness Day event, held by Mom’s Stop the Harm.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
August 21, 2017 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - The first International Overdose Awareness Day is being held later this month, as the drug crisis in B.C. gets worse with every passing day.

With 780 recorded deaths due to drug overdose in British Columbia from January 1 to June 30 the province is in a state of emergency.

Kelowna mayor Colin Basran signed a proclamation last month making Aug. 31 Drug Overdose Awareness Day in the City of Kelowna.

The day was spearheaded by a member of Mom’s Stop the Harm, a group of Canadian mothers who have lost children to drug overdose. Not limited to mother’s, the group includes relatives, and friends of those who have lost their life to drug overdose.

“We must be the suffragettes of this pandemic, try to stem the tragic losses that are growing daily,” said Jill, a member of the Kelowna chapter of Mom’s Stop the Harm, in a press release. “These young folk are our neighbours, teachers, soldiers, tradesmen, and a hundred other roles that society must stop stigmatizing. They are not defined by the demon drug that they succumbed to.”

The International Overdose Awareness Day event, held by Mom’s Stop the Harm, is Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at the Evangel Church located at 3261 Gordon Dr. The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., with a candle light vigil at the downtown sails statue from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The purpose of the event is to educate and bring awareness of the issue of overdose while encouraging people to shamelessly honour the loved ones they have lost to a drug misuse disorder, the release states.

All members of the community are invited as organizers hope to bring survivors and bereaved community members out of isolation, to "grieve and battle this crisis together."

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