LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day for remembering lost loved ones and spreading awareness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 2022 was the deadliest for overdoses.
To spread awareness and reduce the stigma of addiction, the Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance hosted its 7th annual International Overdose Awareness Day at Chuck Minker Sports Complex on the east side of Las Vegas.
Community members were able to attend and find useful tools to educate and prevent overdoses via a booth-filled resource hall.
The event also featured a vigil to promote a time to heal and remember loved ones.
Landynn Meyers is a survivor. He said he started drinking at age three before he moved on to weed at 10 and drugs by age 13.
“I died off the drugs, overdosed, and came back,” Meyers recalled. “OD’d and ended up at the hospital at 14.”
He got sober and at 19, Meyers now works for addiction resource centers and peer groups.
He participated in the panel hosted by 8 News Now anchor Brian Loftus.
“I’m here to bring awareness and help as much as I can,” Meyers said.
Several organizations gave tools to help including overdose prevention kits containing Narcan.
The Southern Nevada Health District provided fentanyl test strips.
Everyone attending hopes to halt a growing and painful trend.
“The goal, to end overdose, reduce stigma, erase shame associated with substance use,” said Ronald Schnese
The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics reports nearly 100,000 people die from overdoses annually.