St Patrick’s Centre in Fremantle to hold remembrance for drug overdose victims

Remembering: St Patrick’s Community Support Centre will be holding a remembrance event for International Overdose Awareness Day
Remembering: St Patrick’s Community Support Centre will be holding a remembrance event for International Overdose Awareness Day

ADDICTION and overdose are often thought of in terms of statistics, but for the thousands who have lost a loved one to drugs, it’s something much deeper and more painful.

International Overdose Awareness Day, an event that began in Melbourne in 2001 and has been held every August 31 since, gives grieving friends and family around the world an opportunity to remember those who have been lost as well as to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of drug use.

St Patrick’s Community Support Centre’s Crossroads drug and alcohol outreach team see first hand the effect overdose can have both on the individual and their loved ones, and they will be joining the wider St Pat’s and Fremantle community in holding an International Overdose Awareness Day remembrance on Thursday.

Crossroads senior assertive outreach worker Amanda Crow said as well as remembering those who have been lost, her team would use the event to explain the symptoms of an overdose, talk about harm reduction when taking drugs and just be an ear to listen if anyone wanted to talk about their experiences.

“Everyday as outreach workers we meet people whose lives have been affected by overdose,” she said.

“Whether it’s a friend or a family member, many of our clients have had really sad experiences around the issue.

“There is a lot of shame and stigma around drug-related deaths, it’s important that we acknowledge the pain of everyone affected by overdose and support them in their grief.”

Locals are invited to wear silver to show their support and attend the event, where they can write a tribute message in a condolence book.

The St Pat’s Drug Overdose Day Remembrance will be held at 12 Queen Victoria Street Fremantle from 10.30am to 12pm on August 31.

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