(JACKSON TWP., OH ) – Stark County Overdose Awareness Day is set for Saturday, Aug. 12 at Centennial Plaza.
After 156 Stark County residents lost their lives to overdose in 2022, the Stark Overdose Awareness Committee is continuing to call attention to the ongoing crisis.
The committee will help bring the community together for Stark County’s Overdose Awareness Day. The event is set for Saturday, Aug. 12 from 9 a.m.-noon at Centennial Plaza in downtown Canton. It will help remember everyone affected by overdose without stigma or shame.
A number of activities have been planned for the morning targeting youth, older adults, veterans, and women.
“I’m touched to join forces with the incredible community of Stark County as we gather with compassion and determination, united in our efforts to prevent overdose deaths,” said Shanna Kuikahi, chair of the Stark Overdose Awareness Committee with the Stark County Health Department. “This event underscores the importance of remembering, supporting, and educating while shining a light on the need for prevention and access to life-saving resources.”
Overdose Awareness Day Participants
Warrior Beat will be one of the organizations on hand and will provide drum therapy demonstrations. The non-profit charity helps military veterans through PTSD, anxiety, depression, thoughts of self-harm and suicide, and substance abuse among other challenges.
Y12SR, which combines the tools of cognitive addiction methodologies with the art and science of yoga, will also be at Centennial Plaza. Meals on Wheels will provide snacks and education about the impact of isolation on seniors.
Additional activities include free haircuts from local barbers and stylists, linkages to care provided by AVO Behavioral Health and Recovery, naloxone distribution provided by Canton City Public Health, and an appearance from the Stark County Health Department’s mobile unit.
Attendees will also have a chance to win a gift card by sharing their photos on social media from the event with the hashtag #RiseAboveOD.
The Stark Overdose Awareness Committee is made up of a number of local and regional agencies including AVO Behavioral Health and Recovery, Canton City Public Health, HEALing Communities Study, Let’s Get Healthy Cleveland, Massillon City Health Department, Metamor5sis, Millennium Health, Stark NAACP, OhioCAN (Change Addiction Now), Stark County Health Department, Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery and Veterans Services Commission.
The Stark County Combined General Health District (Stark County Health Department) was founded in 1920 and is celebrating a century of health. The department is currently the ninth largest health district in the State of Ohio which serves the public health needs of over 250,000 people. The jurisdiction of the Stark County District is that of the 17 Townships, 12 Villages, and the cities of Louisville, North Canton, and Canal Fulton. The mission of the department is to assess, protect, promote, and improve the health of Stark County through leadership, quality service, and community partnerships.
Audrey Mattevi, Reporting