Volume 16| August 27, 2020
Your Weekly News & Updates
Make a Difference in 2020
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.
It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose death is preventable.
Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. They come from all walks of life.
Please share!
Contact Dawn Fawcett- admin@wctcoalition.org
to be added to our email list.

Be well and stay safe.
Overdose Day Events in Region 5
The HERO Project, Inc
AT 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
4th Annual Overdose Awareness Day and "Food Drive"
Click here for Facebook event details
Jeff McKenna, HERO Project President, shares these words....
2020 would have been The HERO Project's 4th Annual Candlelight Vigil for International Overdose Day. The past three have seen people affected by the loss of a loved one to the disease of addiction, come to these events and at first realize they are not alone in this loss. Everywhere one turned, someone stood next to them who knew EXACTLY what they were feeling. Each year, tears flow heavily, long strong hugs are exchanged, speakers share stories, poems, testimonies, healing begins for some, new friendships begin with a tragic common denominator...each candle that is lit from one person passing the flame to the next is meaningful in symbolizing a lost loved one - THEIR loved one. Each consecutive year, the light emanating from the collective individual candles burns brighter and stronger - defeating the darkness that the lost loved one felt, the ones left behind feel and will forever feel.

When Covid-19 hit, The HERO Project for just a split second thought of cancelling, but that's not how we roll. "Can't" was not an option. 
We discussed creative and safe ways to continue this event into its 4th year. For the hurting, grieving, sad, overwhelmed people who have been subject to more darkness during this Covid-19. The best solution was obvious - take the tools available to us and make it virtual. WITH the luminarias. WITH a vehicle for people to give us a name to be included on a luminaria to honor and remember their loved one. The sheer numbers in response to submitting names for luminarias is overwhelming - it confirms that this event is NECESSARY.

The HERO Project's 4th Annual Candlelight Vigil for International Overdose Day carries the tradition on, just in a different way, and possibly may be part of a new tradition going forward. 


In years prior, we have also had a food drive for the Bethel Community Food Bank. We still are - just in the form of monetary donations sent directly to the food bank. Donate by Check made payable to:
"Bethel Community Food Pantry"
and mailed to:
Bethel Community Food Pantry
211 Greenwood Avenue 2-2
PMB #175
Bethel, CT 06801
Donations are tax deductible.
Each year at the Overdose Awareness Vigil we read the names of the loved ones we have lost to overdose to candlelight and therapeutic sound healing. Click here to submit the name of someone you would like remembered at the event.

If there is a song that reminds you of your loved one, has helped you heal, or has inspired your recovery, please share it with us to play during the event on August 31st. Click here to submit.

Regional Opioid Prevention Policy Workgroup Update
Change the Script Survey
We'd like your thoughts on Change the Script! If you have 5 minutes and want a chance to win a gift card, take our survey: 

Drug Free Schools Committee
Resources for Parents and Families
Parents are the biggest influence in a teen’s life. Even though you may feel your child pulling away, eager for more independence, deep down they still want you involved. A strong bond with your child, especially during the teen years, helps reduce the chances of them engaging in unhealthy behavior and helps set the stage for preventing nicotine, alcohol and drug use. Click here to read more....
Honoring and Remembering Loved Ones Lost to Overdose
Remembrance Quilts

Each year, many lives are lost to substance use disorders. To help loved ones cope with the loss, DMHAS, Wheeler Clinic, and other organizations throughout the state are offering opportunities to create Remembrance Quilts in memory of those we have lost to addiction. The quilts are displayed across the state—at schools, community forums and other events—to help raise awareness about addiction and the resources available to promote recovery. Family and friends are encouraged to create a square as a tribute to their loved one for the next Remembrance Quilt.
Visit www.drugfreect.org to learn more.
Region 5 Suicide Advisory Board Update
Diseases and Deaths of Despair
Diseases of despair are three classes of medical conditions that increase in groups of people who experience despair. Oxford dictionary defines despair as "the complete loss or absence of hope".
The three disease types are:

Who is most affected? White Americans in the 40's and 50's non-Hispanic less-educated white men and women
Risk Factors- unemployment, chronic pain, overall poor health, and untreated mental health problems such as depression

(Sources: Wikipedia, Washington Post)

We have a few openings for our QPR- Question Persuade Refer Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Webinar this Friday August 28th.

Learn about the impact of suicide, how to recognize signs of suicide risk, and how to properly intervene.

Stay tuned for a new flyer with September dates.

If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can reach out the CrisisText Line by texting CT to 741-741 or
the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The International Overdose Awareness Day organization has put together these great downloadable fact sheets.
Problem Gambling Awareness
Click here to register for this webinar
Our Partners
Upcoming Events in the Region