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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Overdose Prevention Coalition calls on community members around the state to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day by having conversations with friends and family about substance use and by spreading the message that overdose is a preventable problem affecting communities everywhere.

“No community is immune to overdose” said Justin Fast, senior consultant at Public Sector Consultants, the firm hired to conduct research and staff the coalition. “Data show overdoses affect rural communities and urban centers across Michigan. Last year alone, family, friends, neighbors, and medical professionals saved more than 2,000 lives statewide with naloxone, a safe medication designed to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdoses and prevent fatalities.”

Held on August 31 every year, the aim of Overdose Awareness Day is to recognize the risks of overdose, honor individuals whose lives have been lost, reduce stigma of drug-related harms and acknowledge the collective grief felt by friends, families and communities impacted by the drug overdose crisis.

Here are a few of the events happening around Michigan to recognize Overdose Awareness Day on August 31:

The Grand Rapids Red Project

What: Live story board creation and BBQ – bring art to contribute or create something at the event (art supplies will be provided)

Where: 1270 E. Laketon Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442

Contact: Steve Alsum, The Red Project

Centra Wellness Network, Catholic Human Services, Northern Michigan

Regional Entity (NMRE) and Harm Reduction Michigan

What: Narcan training and distribution, educational information, community resources

Where: Centra Wellness Network Benzie location from 10 a.m.- noon (6051 Frankfort Hwy. Ste 200, Benzonia, MI 49616) and Centra Wellness Network Manistee location from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. (310 N. Glocheski Drive, Manistee, MI 49660)

Contact: Pam Lynch, Harm Reduction Michigan

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Vital Strategies

What: Public art installation, Collective Healing through Art. To learn more about the exhibit, visit

Where: Downriver Council for the Arts, 81 Chestnut St., Wyandotte, MI 48192

Contact: Vital Strategies