It’s well known that the province is in the midst of a epidemic, but staring up at a wall of 1,510 wooden roses — each representing a life lost to drug overdose in 2018 — really drives the point home.
The United Way Overdose Prevention Expo is taking place on May 8 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Bay Centre.
The Bloom Wall is just one of many displays that will be set up to provide information and education on the current crisis. Attendees are encouraged to take a wooden rose and post a photo to honour a loved one and to reveal a photo of a survivor underneath.
Booths by the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, The Foundry, Umbrella Society for Addictions & Mental Health and the Victoria Cool Aid Society will be on hand, along with many more, to answer any questions attendees may have. Naloxone training will also be available to anyone interested.
“In Victoria we have the third largest number of deaths due to drug overdoses, so anything [attendees] can learn about the dangers of opioids or how to help someone struggling or the programs and services available would be terrific,” said Jennifer Young, donor relations senior advisor for the United Way of Greater Victoria.
Attendees will hear from Victoria Police Chief Del Manak, Mark Breslauer, United Way Greater Victoria CEO, and Penny Sakamoto, publisher of Black Press Media and the 2019 Overdose Prevention Resource Guide, along with Dreanna, who’s now in the middle of her recovery with the intention of pursuing a masters degree in social work.
For more information, visit uwgv.ca/overdose-prevention-project/.