August 31 is observed as International Overdose Awareness Day.
Residents In Recovery staff point to the challenges faced particularly during the isolation months of COVID.
Outreach Worker and Hobbies and Recreational Coordinator Cordillia Shortt looks at the stats for Saskatchewan.
“Just with Saskatchewan, our overdoses went from 55 in 2010, and it jumped right up to almost 300 in 2020. So during the COVID pandemic, those numbers increased greatly.”
Residents In Recovery had a few guest speakers in on Tuesday to share on overcoming addictions and dealing with overdoses, plus training on using a naloxone kit to revive someone who has overdosed.
As families and individuals continue to face the grief of losing someone to an overdose, Shortt says they need to talk about it.
“Come and talk about it. One of the best healing things you can do is to talk about it with like-minded individuals to get their feedback and to see how they are coping with things. We are always open here to help anybody struggling with those things; struggling with those losses.”
Shortt says Residents In Recovery has numerous programs and they are available to help as people battle with addictions and the stages of grief, or even seek to find meaning and answer questions like why did their loved one die.
“Opioids don’t discriminate. Overdoses don’t discriminate. Stigmas do not discriminate. Everybody goes through their own struggles; their own path of life. It really can happen to almost everybody and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.”
Their event concluded with a candle lighting lock ceremony to remember all those who have overdosed.