Aug. 31 is observed as International Overdose Awareness Day. Events are held globally to raise awareness and stimulate discussion about overdose prevention, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and remember those who have died because of drug overdose.

This year, an event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Mill Park, 1 Water St. in Augusta, sponsored by the Augusta, Maine GRASP (Grief Recovery After A Substance Passing) Chapter Group. The group meets monthly to provide support to those suffering from the stigmatizing grief often felt when a loved one has died from substance use.

The purpose of the organization is to help bring awareness to the opioid epidemic, provide resources, reduce stigma and remember those who died from overdose. They plan to have tables with handouts for recognizing the signs of overdose, resources for treatment/recovery and grief support. Also, the book “Secrets,” a story of addiction, grief and healing by Ann Bennett-Cookson will be available for purchase. There will be speakers, reading of names of those who died from overdose (there will be a sign-up sheet), a table to make remembrance luminaries for a

candlelight vigil, and refreshments available for purchase.

GRASP members hope to have Narcan kits to distribute, and individuals to provide training for usage during the event. The event will end with a candlelight vigil and poem around the luminaries.

For more information, contact Sharon Bailey at [email protected] or 549-3877.

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