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Health Watch: This year sees First International Overdose Awareness Week event in Fairbanks

The Fairbanks community gathered in a walk to remember those lost to overdose for the first...
The Fairbanks community gathered in a walk to remember those lost to overdose for the first International Overdose Awareness Day event in Fairbanks.(Ryan Osborne)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 3:48 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -It’s International Overdose Awareness week - the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose.

This campaign is host to many events around the world to remember, without stigma, those who have died of overdose, and to acknowledge the grief of family and friends affected.

This year, The Bridge Fairbanks brought the first official event for the campaign to the interior.

Linda Setterberg, Operations Director of Joel’s Place described the event. “Today is the International Overdose awareness day, and we planned a walk. It’s internationally every year August 31st. This is the first one in Fairbanks, and we’re walking from Griffin Park all the way to pioneer park.

The walk was also sponsored by the Fairbanks Native Association, the Fairbanks reentry coalition, Fairbanks Wellness Coalition, and The Safety House. Setterberg elaborated, “When all the walkers come in, we’ll read the names of individuals in Alaska who have lost their lives to overdose, and then we have musicians, rappers from Mat-Su.”

According to Setterberg, taking part in an international movement will bring a lot of public awareness and credibility to The Bridge, and help them further their goals providing recovery assistance.

“One of the things it did was give us the End Overdose hashtag, and all the media that goes along with an event... and then just to be participating when all over the country people are remembering people, because the opioid epidemic has taken a lot of lives in the nation and the world,” Setterberg said.

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