Thursday is a day to educate and remember those lost to drug overdoses as it marks International Overdose Awareness Day. 

Here in Moose Jaw, an event will be taking place starting at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church. 

Meagan Jasper from the John Howard Society’s My Place Program said they have held private events in past years, but this year decided to open it up to the public. 

“The toxic drug supply is affecting everybody. It affects the librarian, and it affects the waiters, it affects all the family members. We also want to show that there’s a big stereotype of who addiction affects,” Jasper said. 

John Howard Society cultural liaison Kayleigh Olson added that there is a misconception that drug addiction is only a big-city problem. 

“There is a crisis here in Moose Jaw. Especially working on the frontline, we do see it every day. I think it’s really having this day as an educational aspect for people to understand and get to know a little bit more and hopefully carry one with that grace throughout the rest of their human life,” Olson explained. 

Thursday’s events include four guest speakers. Jade Pavey, Isaac Brown and Josie Wollman will speak about their lived experiences with drug addiction. Alison Johner will speak about losing a family member to a drug overdose. 

Community paramedics will be giving a presentation and the John Howard Society’s Jody Oakes will be giving Narcan/Naloxone training. 

A booth will also be set up with nurses to test for Hepatitis C. There will be a “take what you need and leave the rest” table for John Howard Society clients. Those attending are asked to donate toiletries and hygiene items if possible. 

Starting at 8:30 p.m. there will be a candlelight vigil where the names of those lost to overdoses will be read.  

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