In 2021, 286 people in Erie County lost their lives to an opioid overdose incident. Sadly, the outlook for 2022 is just as alarming. While tragic, death from overdose is preventable with education and intervention.
Spectrum Health and Human Services will present Not One More – Stand Together to End Overdose, a free evening of information on Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in West Seneca, 1250 Union Road behind West Seneca Town Hall. This free and family-friendly event is a community collaboration on International Overdose Awareness Day.
Headlining the evening is a free concert by The Patti Parks Band at 4 p.m. Parks is a world-renowned blues singer and the founder of Nursin’ Blues, a music therapy program that helps high-risk youth cope with the emotions as they recover from drug addiction. She’s also the mom of a young man who lost his life to an overdose in 2019. She said, “It’s imperative that we continue to protect those who suffer from chemical dependency through education and overdose awareness.”
There will also be family activities, including the “Imagination Playground” from the Explore & More — The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, “Y on the Fly” from the YMCA Buffalo Niagara, and the Healthy Cruiser from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY.
Representatives from various agencies will also be on hand to distribute information about available services, including Spectrum Health’s C.A.R.E.S. team, NY Project HOPE, Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition, Endeavor Health Services, Save the Michaels of the World Inc., Horizon Health Services and Evergreen Health Services.
Spectrum Health’s Medication Assisted Treatment team will be on hand to provide Narcan training and education.
The event is sponsored by Five Star Bank, The Buffalo News, WGRZ, Lawley Insurance, ACP Technologies and UBS.
Cindy Voelker, Spectrum Health’s Associate CEO said, “We are very appreciative of the support from our sponsors and the community. After last year’s success, we are looking to make this an annual event and hope one day to be able to see progress in stopping unnecessary and untimely deaths due to overdoses.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 30, representatives from Spectrum Health’s Medication Assisted Treatment program will be in Larkin Square at the final Food Truck Tuesday of the season to distribute Narcan and provide information and training on how it’s administered.
For more information, please visit www.shswny.org.