Dayton Recovers is hosting a National Overdose Awareness Day observance on Friday at Bomberger Park.
Anyone who has lost a loved one to a drug overdose is invited to pay homage to them at the park in St. Anne’s Hill starting at 7 p.m.
The event will include a moment of silence that will last 197 seconds — representing the average number of people who died from overdose nationwide each day in 2017, according to CDC estimates.
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There will also be a luminaria ceremony, with participants invited to light a candle in honor of someone they’ve lost. The candles will be arranged to spell out the word “hope.”
Participants can also sign a memorial board.
The idea is to demonstrate that despite the high death toll experienced from overdoses in the Miami Valley last year, recovery is possible and is happening here, said organizer Casey Steckling.
“We are thinking forward about how to best empower our community into a better tomorrow,” Steckling said.
He said up to 200 people are expected to attend.
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Montgomery County had the state’s highest rate of accidental overdose deaths last year at 106.7 people per 100,000 population.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio had 4,854 accidental drug overdose deaths last year, an increase of about 800 from 2016.
But the number of overdose deaths locally and statewide began trending downward in the second half of 2017 and that trend has continued through the first eight months of this year.
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