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Community Overdose Awareness Day & Vigil

Community Overdose Awareness Day & Vigil

August 31, 2017

 Helping Each Other to Heal 

Presented by The New Canaan Parent Support Group and New Canaan Community Foundation

 Thursday, August 31, 2017, 7PM-8:30 PM

Rain Date: Friday, September 1, 2017

 New Canaan Pop-up Park on South Avenue & Elm Street, New Canaan

 

The New Canaan Parent Support Group and the New Canaan Community Foundation have joined forces to host the first Overdose Awareness Day & Vigil to honor our local sons and daughters who have been lost to addiction. The event will take place on Thursday, August 31, 7:00 pm at the Pop-Up Park on South Avenue in New Canaan. The community at large is welcome to attend.

 

This event was developed in response to the addiction epidemic that has grown not only nationally, but also in Fairfield County. The New Canaan Parent Support Group and the New Canaan Community Foundation are hosts for this year’s Vigil, backed by several local sponsors.

 

“New Canaan has been impacted by the addiction epidemic, just like many communities in Connecticut. When there are overdose losses, the collateral damage to family members and friends is enormous. I launched the New Canaan Parent Support Group after my son’s death to help make a difference and heal,” said Paul Reinhardt Founder, New Canaan Parent Support Group.

 

It’s estimated that 8-10% of the nation’s population aged 12 or older, suffer from substance use disorder. Unfortunately, stigma and shame have caused many people with addiction—and their family members— to feel isolated.  This restricts them from engaging the support and treatment options they need.  Given this situation, many community residents have been left confused and concerned about the addiction epidemic, and how to address it.  On August 31, some answers and solace will be offered.

 

The New Canaan Overdose Awareness Day & Vigil will feature a well-respected industry clinician, John Hamilton, as Emcee.  Speakers will include both parents and young people in recovery sharing their experiences of struggle and hope.  Music will be provided by Quiet Giant and guitarist Tom Larsen, and the night will conclude with a candlelight vigil presided by a multi-faith partnership of clergy. All are invited to join healing families, people in recovery, and concerned citizens to pay tribute to and honor the lives of those who died too soon.

 

The evening’s theme is “Helping Each Other to Heal,” as we gather in solidarity on International Overdose Awareness Day (www.overdoseday.com). The day was established years ago in Australia with a purpose that remains twofold: to remember and reflect on lives lost and to provide comfort and support to loved ones who remain. The evening’s schedule is as follows, starting at 7:00 pm: Engage - Hope & Remembrance Wall; resource tables; live music; Listen - speakers (parents and young people in recovery); Honor - Candlelight Vigil with representation from most local denominations.

 

“New Canaan has felt, first hand, the devastating effects of drug addiction in both tragic losses and the struggles of many who are residents of the community. It’s my hope that this Vigil not only sheds light on drug addiction as a disease but also provides newfound awareness and recognition that we can all make a difference,”  said Lauren Patterson, President & CEO, New Canaan Community Foundation.

 

For more information regarding the August 31 Overdose Awareness Day and Vigil, contact Paul Reinhardt at preinhar99@gmail.com

 

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