International Overdose Awareness Day was started in 2001. Indiana had never held an event before this year. I felt it was important to be a part of the greater whole, to join with the communities across the US and in at least four other countries where events were held on August 31st. We were all remembering and bringing awareness at the same time. Our Indianapolis event touched many lives. I am most moved by the mom who saw the event on the news and came out for support. Her son has only been gone since June. There was the girlfriend who also saw it on the news and came out to remember. And the mom who reached out to another mom in her community; that mother and grandmother were there, honoring their son. Finally, there was the sister who found the event online because she wanted to know more about the anti-overdose kit. She came to honor her sister with her mother, brother, and husband. There are others — people we know, people whose stories we haven’t heard yet.
This is why Overdose-Lifeline and International Overdose Awareness Day exists. We do not have to do this alone; we do not have to feel ashamed that our child/loved one died from an overdose. It is no one’s fault but the disease.
It is also comforting for me to know that, my son Aaron, is not alone. He can be together with the lost members of these families.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the friends and family that supported this event. Thank you to the Board of Overdose-Lifeline, the DJ, my mom partners (you know who you are). Special thanks to State Senator Jim Merritt, Deputy Chief Carl Rochelle III, and Brandon Hergett from Senator Donnelly’s office.
We will gather to remember next year. In the meantime, post a remembrance on the webpage, watch for other events, tell anyone you can that overdose is preventable.