Creating awareness of the opioid crisis

On March 26th from 8 am to 12:30 pm, the United Way, Safe n Sound, the Grey Bruce Health Unit and other partners, will be at the Owen Sound Farmer’s Market to highlight the growing overdose crisis in the City of Owen Sound.

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The public is invited to take a carnation, walk the block around the 8th and 9th street bridges and then drop the flower into the river, to symbolize the loss of those who have died, gone permanently from our community. Donations are being accepted.

The event started in 2021, at the urging of Gelja Sheardown, to mark the 1st anniversary of the fatal overdose death of her husband Barrett Warwick. “He worked 7 days a week, he was a wonderful father, he was a wonderful husband and then he was gone,” Sheardown reflects. 

The Grey Bruce Health Unit will be in attendance with Naloxone kits and information to provide the community with a concrete understanding of the current Opioid Epidemic here in Grey-Bruce along with sharing details of Grey Bruce region’s Opioid Response Plan used in responding to the Opioid Epidemic.

“Grey-Bruce has seen a steady, year-over-year increase in opioid-related harms for the past seven years, which makes education and awareness events like this one all the more important,” says Katie Cuillerier, the public health manager overseeing the health unit’s harm reduction portfolio.

“We are pleased to be taking part in this event and share with the community information on how to recognize an overdose and on the potentially life-saving drug Naloxone, which can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose until first responders arrive.”