Taking a Stand for a Drug-Free Community
Wisteria Community Association embraces and encourages our team to get involved in various community awareness programs to bring real results. From 2017 to date, we have been part of the International Overdose Awareness Day conducted in Nanaimo to do our bit.
Nanaimo's Overdose Awareness Day
Overdose Awareness has been a Wisteria Community Association awareness program for the past four years, and we will soon be adding a Memorial Garden. We purchased 100 metal hearts from Red Cod Forge and will begin by inscribing the names of loved ones who have passed away on the island on the hearts before placing them in the garden. Please email us if you would like to add a name to the list.
New Memorial Garden 2020
We appreciate Sister Potter and Sister Tanner for their love for planting the new Memorial Garden and watch more to come.
Dr. Paul Hasselback and others were among the guest speakers at the gathering at the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park.
During an International Overdose Awareness Day event at Maffeo Sutton Park, Paula Lowen told for the first time publicly how her 28-year-old son Paul died and how his death has permanently affected her life.
"Imagine waking up every morning … and having your first thought be the loss of your precious loved one," Lowen said to an audience of about 100 people. Paul and his friends used cocaine one night in Kelowna. Even though they all ended up in the hospital, her kid died.
"Paul played hockey, rugby, lacrosse, he went to the gym almost daily," Lowen said. She added, "he loved and cherished his body. So, why he would introduce a foreign substance into his body is a mystery to me."
As per the BC. Coroners Service has been 878 illegal drug overdose fatalities in the province this year, down from 1,422 last year. According to the coroners, there have been around 20 illegal drug overdose deaths in Nanaimo this year, compared to 51 last year.
Friday's event was designed to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and share stories of those who lost loved ones from overdosing. The event had representatives from AIDS Vancouver Island offer to teach people how to administer naloxone kits. SOLID Outreach, a nonprofit organization supporting displaced and drug addicted individuals, was also present. Volunteers from Volunteer Nanaimo were also handed out flowers made from pipe cleaners.
"They are supposed to represent life and creation in the face of addiction, and they are meant to serve as a reminder of this day, International Overdose Awareness Day," said Jayden Jung, a youth volunteer handing out the flowers.
In 2017, on International Overdose Awareness Day, community and family members spoke out, raised awareness, and supported one another at an event in Nanaimo.