A candlelight vigil and public walk-through remembrance display will be held on Wednesday, August 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. in observance of International Overdose Awareness Day. Luminaries and a visual display of photos, stories, achievements, and funny and fond memories of lives lost due to overdose and addiction will frame the walkways of the Town Square in Newton, a location known to locals as “The Green.”
This yearly event is a solemn ceremony representing love for all who have lost a loved one and an opportunity to spread the positive message that overdose death is preventable and recovery is possible. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend and show support. Submissions to include a loved one in the remembrance display will be accepted through August 26.
Local musician, Michael Lawlor, will provide the musical background for the evening, and Newton High School students will sing Amazing Grace. Lieutenant Joseph D’Annibale of the Newton Police Department will speak, with Father Robert Griner, formerly of Christ Episcopal Church of Newton, providing a blessing.
Anyone who has lost a loved one to substance use is encouraged to submit photos and stories to be included in the Walk-Through Remembrance display. Submissions may be sent via tinyurl.com/IOADSussex2022
Participation in the International Overdose Awareness Day is free. Information on recovery support services, programs, sober activities, and events will be available, including how to get help for yourself or a loved one and access free Narcan to reverse opioid overdoses. This day of remembrance emphasizes that no one ever needs to feel shame or disgrace over a drug overdose and that addiction and recovery resources can save lives.
To become involved in the event or receive help submitting the memories or photos of a loved one, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-940-2966.
This event is hosted by the Center for Prevention & Counseling and volunteers of the Sussex County Recovery Community Center and made possible through funding from the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Sussex County Division of Community and Youth Services Chapter 51 funding, along with the Center for Prevention and Counseling and their many volunteers and recovery allies in Sussex County.