FTP to host Overdose Awareness Day fair next week

August 24, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Family Transition Place (FTP), in partnership with several other community agencies, will be hosting the first ever International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) to be held in Dufferin County next Thursday, August 31.

The event, a health fair and barbecue, will take place at the Edelbrock Centre, 30 Centre St. from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Donations will be accepted. Naloxone/Narcan kits will be available for pick up, while expired and unwanted prescriptions can also be dropped off at the event.

Along with a moment of silence, individuals and families affected by this issue will also be speaking of their experiences.

According to the overdose day website, IOAD “aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.” The day “spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.”

Community agencies collaborating with FTP on this event are: CMHA Peel-Dufferin, Choices Youth Shelter, DCAFS, County of Dufferin, Public Health Wellington-Dufferin County, SHIP, and White Owl Native Ancestry Association, many providing services for overdose and addictions. Other community agencies will be present at the health fair to provide information about the related services they offer.

Those attending are asked to wear grey or silver, the internationally recognized colours for the event, to show their support.

After a number of increasing overdoses, and after her first client passed away this year, and the overdoses increased, “I felt something needed to be done to bring awareness to this important and often stigmatized issue,” says Kristy Fearon, FTP’s Addictions Outreach Counsellor.

Ms. Fearon says just the number of women coming into FTP has increased over the year. In 2014-2015 there were 51 women, while 2015-16 increased to 65, and 2016-2017 is 80, while beginning in April, there have been 40 new women, while age is “all over.”

She says this event is a chance for people to come together and remember those who have passed away. “We’ve seen overdoses in years past, but not much has been done or said.”

She says the main goal for this event is to bring awareness that addictions and overdoses do happen in Dufferin County, and to start breaking down the stigma. “It’s not just downtown Toronto, or downtown Vancouver, as we hear in the media a lot of times.”

Ms. Fearon added that people aren’t aware of addiction services in the County, and this event can provide information to those services. Asked what she hopes this event can further do, she said for it to keep growing and continue to get bigger, and make people realize addiction problems “isn’t something that’s just going to go away.”

For more information, please contact Kristy Fearon at 519-942-4122 etc. 226, or Kari Simpson at 416-524-9672 (SHIP), along with visiting the website for additional information on the day, at

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