Time to remember loved ones and end overdose
Local communities in South Ayrshire and around the world came together to raise awareness of International Overdose Awareness Day 2022 and to remember those we have sadly lost due to drug or alcohol related death or suicide.
Observed on the 31st of August every year, International Overdose Awareness Day seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with overdose.
The South Ayrshire annual Flower Walk took place on Wednesday morning from the Citadel in Ayr, finishing at Millennium Bridge. The low impact walking event was open to the public, whether participants wished to take part in the full walk or to join at any point of the route. Millennium Bridge, the regular finishing point for this event, hosted a flower release, an opportunity for participants to celebrate the lives of those lost.
Councillor Lee Lyons, Cabinet Holder for Health and Social Care said, "We held this event to honour our loved ones who have lost their life due to an overdose,"
"By coming together to remember them, we stand together to say that more needs to be done to end overdose in our community."
"Overdose can affect anybody and one of the messages of this day is that the people who overdose are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters - they are loved and they are missed."
The South Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) also arranged for Wallace Tower in Ayr to be lit up purple to raise awareness of overdose and to remember those we have lost.
Tim Eltringham, Director of Social Care said, "I want to thank the organisers of this event and all those that attended, with over 120 people in attendance the event showed real community spirit and allowed families affected to come together to pay respect to their loved ones."
"No family should ever have to go through the pain of losing a loved one because of overdose. We encourage members of the community with lived experience to stand in solidarity with the men and women who have been personally affected by overdose."
Representatives from the ADP's Peer 2 Peer Naloxone Network attended the event to help raise awareness of this fantastic resource and provide training and supply of Naloxone Kits. In partnership with RecoveryAyr, Volunteers in the Network receive training and support to engage with individuals at risk of an opiate related overdoes. This Peer 2 Peer Naloxone Network aims to provide friendly, non-judgemental and confidential support.
Faye Murfet, ADP Lead Officer said, "We have been working with partners to roll out the use of Naloxone throughout South Ayrshire. Naloxone can make a huge difference helping reduce the number of people losing their lives to a drug related death in Scotland, the Peer2Peer Network is an opportunity to help our communities understand how overdose affects every single one of us and how everyone can make a difference."
For information on how to get involved in the Peer2Peer Naloxone Network please contact ADP@South-ayrshire.gov.uk or 01292 261 2147.