Groups hope ‘Overdose Awareness Day’ educates public on issue

Published 4:25 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

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By Angela Cutrer
Star Correspondent
Locals and organizations recognized “Overdose Awareness Day” at Elizabethton’s Covered Bridge Park Aug. 31 with a fair-like atmosphere to help bring understanding to the issue.

“International Overdose Awareness Day is a day when communities across the world come together to remember those who have been lost to overdose and educate people on preventing future overdoses,” said organizer Tia Hughes.

Organizations included Carter County Drug Prevention, Bridge to Shore Recovery, Johnson City Recovery Center, Recovery Resources, Insight Alliance, ACTION Coalition, Northeast Regional Health Department, UT Extension of Carter County, Ballad Health, Frontier Health and more.

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A community art project was created in remembrance of those who have been lost. “This event provided an opportunity for families who have been impacted by substance use to gather resources and, more importantly, learn that they are not alone, and they have a community [that] is committed to changing the stigma around and challenges associated with overdose,” said Carter County Drug Prevention Director Jilian Reece.

Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library and SCAD Coalition partnered to produce the event.