SpiritWorks Foundation, the City of Williamsburg Police Department and Bucktrout Funeral Home will come together to observe International Overdose Awareness Day in Williamsburg, VA by creating a memorial to the 915 Virginians who have lost their lives to overdose so far this year. Flags will be placed on the lawn of the City of Williamsburg Police Department at 425 Armistead Avenue, on the evening of August 30, 2018. The flags will remain in place for 24 hours. They will be removed following a Remembrance Service to be held on Friday August 31, 2018 at 7:00 PM at Bruton Parish Church, 331 Duke of Gloucester Street. The service is open to all, especially to those who have lost a loved one to overdose.
Held on August 31st every year, International Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, remember those who have died and stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
Williamsburg Police Chief Sean Dunn thinks the overdose awareness display will present “a great opportunity to showcase our community partnerships as we bring awareness to this tragic issue.”
“No community is immune to overdose and we hope the flag display helps our community understand just how staggering the statistics are, in our country, in our Commonwealth and in our town” said the Rev. Jan M. Brown, Executive Director of SpiritWorks Foundation, a not for profit recovery community organization located in Williamsburg. It is our hope, that members of the community will see the flags and understand the severity of the current drug crisis.
It is the sheer volume of overdose deaths and the heartbreak that accompanies them that spurred Bucktrout Funeral Home’s involvement in the overdose day activities. Bucktrout donated the flags for the display, hoping that their volume and placement will highlight the tragic impact the opioid epidemic is having in our community and within the Commonwealth.
The Rev. Brown is a firm believer in recovery from substance use disorder; offering support to those seeking recovery is literally her life’s work. She acknowledges that awareness is key: “It is no good pretending overdoses don’t happen; 195 people overdose every day in the United States. We can do better. We can decrease the deaths, but first we need to acknowledge that the problem exists, even in Williamsburg.”
WHAT: International Overdose Awareness Day Flag Display
WHEN: August 31st, 2018
WHERE: City of Williamsburg Police Department, on the corner of Lafayette & Armistead
To learn more about overdose prevention, education and pathways to recovery from substance abuse disorder, please contact the Rev. Jan Brown at SpiritWorks Foundation, 757-903-0000, www.spiritworksfoundation.org
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