Toxic drugs have profoundly impacted the Campbell River community this year. They’ve been responsible for many deaths of family, friends and neighbours.
Now, folks are coming together to remember, spread care and love, and share what can be done to make a change.
On August 31st, a coalition of local organizations hosted the Campbell River Overdose Awareness Day. The day was in support of those who have been affected by the toxic drug crisis.
The free event took place in Spirit Square. It was hosted by the Campbell River Community Action Team and Campbell River Art Gallery, among others.
The City of Campbell River proclaimed August 31st International Overdose and Drug Toxicity Crisis Awareness Day.
“[W]e affirm that the people affected by overdose are our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters, and deserving of our love, compassion and support,” the city said in their proclamation.
The day featured education stations, pop-up naloxone training, community art-making, and resource tables.
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns has advocated for new policy around toxic drugs for years. He encourages everyone to keep fighting for change despite the odds.
“Rather than accept these mounting losses as inevitable, we must do everything we can to turn the tide on this tragic crisis,” Johns told Comox Valley News.
In Campbell River, drug checking services are now available for free, and they’re fully confidential.
You can get access at Vancouver Island Mental Health Society, 1330 Dogwood Street, Unit #5, on Tuesdays and Fridays: 1 – 5 p.m. They’re also open for harm reduction supplies and overdose prevention services seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
To help protect yourself from drug poisonings, the Community Action Team recommends you “have Naloxone and don’t use alone.” You can head to their site for more resources.
Through International Overdose Awareness Day, Campbell River hopes to take steps forward in recovering from the losses and moving forward.
The goal of the August 31st event was to spread support and feel how strong the community truly is.
The rest of the year, the Walk With Me project is another inspiring community movement. Their programs help folks learn more about the lived experiences of people impacted by these issues in our community and how we can help.