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Commemorate ‘Overdose Awareness Day’ on Aug. 31

Added on Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Salvation Army invites you to join us in commemorating International Overdose Awareness Day on Friday, Aug. 31.

Overdose graphicInternational Overdose Awareness Day exists not only to help prevent overdose deaths, but to remove the stigma that people who die from an overdose are “less important” than those who die in other circumstances. It also exists to acknowledge the pain felt by families touched by an overdose death. 

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans younger than 50. Many victims overdose on opioids, which killed about 64,000 Americans in 2016 alone – the deadliest drug-based crisis in U.S. history.

The Salvation Army is on the frontlines of this battle, providing rehabilitation, spiritual and emotional care, and other services to help people get their lives back on track. This includes our Minneapolis-based Harbor Light Center and Adult Rehabilitation Center facilities, which provide hope and healing to thousands. 

Portrait of Anthony Raj Sr.Twin Cities resident Anthony Raj Sr. (pictured) knows the pain of losing a loved one to an overdose. His son, Anthony Raj Jr., died of an overdose on Dec. 12, 2015.

Rather than stay mired in sadness, Raj Sr. chose to rise above the pain, volunteer for The Salvation Army, and serve people who are battling addiction (read Raj Sr.’s story).  

“The Salvation Army does so much for so many people,” Raj Sr. said. 

Raj Sr. especially loves the spiritual support The Salvation Army offers to people battling drug and alcohol addiction. 

“If I could tell anybody anything, it’s to get with God,” Raj Sr. said. “You might not get where you’re going the next day or the next month, but if you have faith in God, you will get there.”

Overdose graphicInternational Overdose Awareness Day was founded by Sally Finn, a Salvation Army worker in Australia. She was inspired to create the event after counseling a person who’d lost 17 friends to overdoses. 

A Minnesota Overdose Awareness Day vigil will be held on Friday, August 31 at 6 p.m. at Church of Gichitwaa Kateri, 3045 Park Ave. in Minneapolis. 

Please join The Salvation Army by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. Stay current on how The Salvation Army is changing lives in Minnesota and North Dakota by signing up for our e-Newsletters.