Grieving families supported on overdose awareness day
VERSAILLES, Ky. (WTVQ) – August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. Strengthening Transformations, a nonprofit organization in Versailles, hosted its second annual event supporting families who have lost someone to an overdose.
Strengthening Transformations says more than 2,000 people died from a drug overdose last year, a dramatic increase from 2019. The organization wants to help break the stigma and not let the families grieve in silence, but instead support them through the heartache.
Many speakers addressed the crowd including the Lieutenant Governor, a harm reduction specialist, and representatives from the Versailles Police Department and Woodford County EMS. Among the speakers was also a man who survived his overdose.
“I wear purple today in honor of all the people who’ve lost their lives to addiction. But I also wear black for the families because there’s moment of mourning,” said the survivor. “I wear purple in gratitude because that very well could’ve been me. I wear black for the victims of addiction who didn’t have access to Narcan.”
Narcan is the opioid overdose reversing drug. People at the event were encouraged to write the names of the loved ones lost on the side of their candle in remembrance and after a moment of silence, butterflies were released in their memory.