city hosting memorial for overdose deaths
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City hosting memorial for overdose deaths

Owen Sound will host a memorial for victims of overdoses.

On Saturday, March 26th from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the United Way, Safe n’ Sound, the Grey Bruce Health Unit and other local partners will be at the Owen Sound Farmer’s Market to “highlight the growing overdose crisis in the City of Owen Sound.” This will be the second such event in the city after it was held for the first time last year, with the idea coming from resident Gelja Sheardown, who wished to mark the 1st anniversary of the fatal overdose death of her husband, Barrett Warwick.

“He worked 7 days a week, he was a wonderful father, he was a wonderful husband and then he was gone,” Sheardown reflects.

The public is invited to take a carnation, walk the block around the 8th and 9th street bridges and then drop the flower into the river, to symbolize the loss of those who have died from opioid overdoses. Donations will be accepted, as well.

The release states that the Grey Bruce Health Unit will be at the event with Naloxone kits and information to “provide the community with a concrete understanding of the current opioid epidemic in Grey-Bruce, along with details of Grey Bruce region’s Opioid Response Plan.”

“Grey-Bruce has seen a steady, year-over-year increase in opioid-related harms for the past seven years, which makes education and awareness events like this one all the more important,” says Katie Cuillerier, the public health manager overseeing the health unit’s harm reduction portfolio. “We are pleased to be taking part in this event and share with the community information on how to recognize an overdose and on the potentially life-saving drug Naloxone, which can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose until first responders arrive.”

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