TODAY: First ‘Chalk the Walk’ to emphasize awareness of drug overdoses

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

A unique way to celebrate the memory of those lost to substance overdoses and help for preventing future instances will be offered for the first time locally today.

Chalk the Walk will coincide with International Overdose Awareness Day with the opportunity to create an art memorial for those affected by overdoses using sidewalk chalk, find overdose prevention resources and a go on a memorial walk.

The event will be on City Hall Plaza, and everyone is welcome. It is presented by the Clark County Substance Abuse Coalition in collaboration with Clark County Partners in Prevention.

“This is a chance to come down and chalk the sidewalk to remember loved ones or friends lost to overdose abuse,” said Jacob Clark, health planner for the Clark County Combined Health District. “It’s something we’ve been wanting to do in our community.”

Beginning at 2 p.m. today, people can find sidewalk chalk on the plaza to write messages, draw pictures or express their memories of those lost to overdoses. Clark said anyone is welcome to participate.

Prevention resources will be available, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., including free Narcan along with training on how to use it. The day will be rounded out with a remembrance walk at 7:30 p.m.

The first event was planned for a year ago, but a rainstorm forced it to be combined later with the first A Night of Hope event in September. A similar event has been successful in Lucas County for several years, and Clark County officials wanted to create a local version.

Besides remembrance, the goal includes bringing awareness to the ongoing problem, which has remained steady in the Springfield community.

“People may hear the message but may not pay attention, and this also gives people the opportunity to remember loved ones,” Clark said. “It’s still a problem, and hopefully we can get the word out annually every Aug. 31.”

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The presenting groups will combine again for the second annual A Night of Hope: Celebrating Recovery, Treatment and Prevention on Sept. 14 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center.

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