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Help reduce the stigma of a drug-related death on Tuesday

You don’t need to know someone who died from an overdose to help survivors pay tribute to their grief over losing a loved one to opioid use.

You don’t have to know someone with an opioid addiction to join in the effort to end stigma around substance use disorder.

But you might know someone in both of those categories.

In a 2018 national poll by the American Psychiatric Association, nearly a third of Americans said they know at least one person who is or has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers.

It’s a problem that is pervasive in this country. It’s taking lives. And it’s an epidemic that can end.

You can help create a world free from overdose.

On Tuesday, Aug. 31, join Southcoast community organizations, advocates, and residents in a day designed to bring people together to end stigma around addiction and honor those whose lives have been lost to this disease.

The 2021 International Overdose Awareness Day will be celebrated at 5 p.m. at City Hall in New Bedford with resources, refreshments, and community leaders to talk about the pain of addiction and answer questions. There will also be a vigil and procession.

In her comments for a promotional video for the event, Tuesday Desrochers spoke about her personal reasons for participating and the importance of coming together on this day.

“This event is so important because as a mother of a child lost to this awful, awful epidemic I feel sometimes like his life is forgotten,” she said about her son Caleb who died of fentanyl poisoning in 2017. “And this event reminds me that he’s not forgotten and just how precious he is and how precious he was, so I encourage you to come out to this event. It’s so important.”

In the same video, Adcare community service rep. Micaela Manzone stressed that people don’t need to suffer with addiction alone.

“There are so many people who suffer in silence and we want to let people know that there’s nothing to be ashamed of; that we are here for you and we’re here to

help,” Micaela said. “There are so many people that suffer with the disease of addiction and they don’t have to. You can live your life free from addiction.” Click to see full video

Find out more about International Overdose Awareness Day here and about the Aug. 31 local event on the Greater New Bedford Opioid Task Force Facebook page.


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