August 13, 2021
BATH, NY – Steuben County residents will be asked to take time Aug. 31 to honor the memories without stigma of the people who have died of an overdose — and celebrate the people who dedicate themselves to harm reduction and saving lives. The August 31st “International Opioid Overdose Awareness Day” activities will be sponsored locally by the Steuben Prevention Coalition’s Opioid Committee.
Organizers expect several proclamations by municipal leaders and plan to hang purple ribbons across the county from Aug. 31 through Sept. 9 – the date of the first opioid awareness day hosted by The New York State Department of Health. “Each year we lose thousands of people from drug overdose across the world,” said Steuben County Legislator, D-Corning City Hilda Lando, Coalition committee chair. “Some survive but suffer a permanent injury, with devastating impact to their families and friends. Steuben County is not immune. You may have seen the devastation yourself. Our statistics show it has happened to people around you. Tomorrow, it could happen to someone you love.”
Overdoses and fatalities have increased by at least 12 percent in Steuben, according to the committee’s most recent report. At least 110 overdoses and eight fatalities have been confirmed since Jan. 1, although state and local reports may fall short of the actual number due to privacy constraints, said Committee Co-chair Brandon Beuter. The event is expected to provide practical ways for everyone to prevent overdose in Steuben, said Connie Terry, Coalition Program Assistant. “Overdose is preventable,” she said. “Knowing the real facts about drugs and what to do when you see someone experiencing an overdose does save lives. Overdose Day events that aim to educate our communities about drugs can really help.”
• For more information on the International Overdose Awareness Day go to https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/general/opioid_overdose_prevention/docs/od_awareness_day.pdf • For more information on the NYS Department of Health’s Opioid Awareness Day Sept. 9, go to https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/general/opioid_overdose_prevention/