WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Thursday was International Overdose Awareness Day, aimed at bringing attention to the dangers of drug overdoses around the country.
Across the Valley, communities hosted vigils and awareness events.
In Warren, locks and purple ribbons are on the fence by the Mahoning Riverwalk by Courthouse Square. They honor the lives lost to drug overdoses.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, May 2020 had the highest number of unintentional drug overdose deaths at 574. However, its latest data shows unintentional overdose deaths trended lower for 2022 compared to 2021.
A.M. Wake Up Call is a local nonprofit helping bring awareness to dangerous fentanyl and drug use.
Founder Donna McAuley wants to bring awareness to the issue to help stop overdoses.
“There’s a reason for it because they set aside a day for people to be aware of what’s happening to our loved ones, and that’s huge for me,” McAuley said.
McAuley wants to help educate kids about dangerous drugs. She said they need to be aware of them to help prevent drug issues in the future.
In East Palestine, an awareness event took place at The Way Station. The East Palestine Resiliency Project passed out naloxone, prescription lock bags, fentanyl test strips and bottled water.
“The test strips are for people that are using right now. Unfortunately, they are going to continue to use, so they are able to use safer by testing it to see if the fentanyl is in there because it’s usually what causes the overdose to occur,” said Miranda Able, an outreach specialist.
If you weren’t able to make it to their event on Thursday but wanted to use some of their resources, just check out FamilyRecovery.org.