The Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force, in conjunction with the National Institute of Health’s HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-Term) Initiative, will be commemorating Overdose Awareness Day next month to raise awareness of the dangers of opioids and to remember the lives of those who have succumbed to an overdose.
The annual event is scheduled for 4 - 7 p.m. on August 30 at Austin Park in Batavia.
Residents are invited to take part in the family-friendly activities – which include face painting and live music courtesy of Groove -- and enjoy free pizza and refreshments.
Narcan (naloxone) training is on the agenda and local health and human services agency representatives will be on hand to provide information on recovery resources, medications for opioid use disorder, and the benefits of staying on medication treatment for people in recovery.
Guest speakers include:
- John Bennett, chief executive officer at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, who will provide updates on substance use treatment programs and lead a moment of silence in memory of those who have died.
- Dawn Stone, a peer advocate from Spectrum Health in Wyoming County, who will discuss the stigma surrounding substance use disorder and steps that are being taken to remove unhealthy perceptions.
- Cheryl Netter, a community “hope coach,” who will share a story of hope and healing.
- Scott Davis, a certified peer recovery advocate for the Rochester Regional Health system, who will share how medication has helped him in his recovery.
- Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments, will share local data and the initiatives that the health department and local partners are implementing to address overdoses.
- Nikki Lang of Batavia, who lost a loved one to an overdose.
Additionally, Lynda Battaglia, director of Genesee County Mental Health & Community Services, and Danielle Figura, director of Community Services at Orleans County Department of Mental Health, are expected to talk about opioid use disorder related to mental health.
Participants will be offered the opportunity to leave a note on the task force’s memory board for a deceased loved one.
Registration is recommended, but not required. To register, go to www.gowopioidtaskforce.org/events.