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Overdose awareness memorial walk and ceremony planned for Abbotsford

2nd Annual Memorial Walk at Mill Lake Park supports International Overdose Awareness Day
A BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)

This year, on International Overdose Awareness Day, communities around the world will come together to remember those lost to overdose, including Abbotsford.

LIFE Recovery Association, in collaboration with Telecare Crisis & Caring Line, will host a memorial walk and ceremony to raise awareness in Abbotsford on Aug. 31.

“We started the event last year to raise awareness about the overdose crisis, and the many deaths not honoured through a funeral due to the pandemic,” said Coletta Holmes, LIFE Recovery Association’s executive director.

In 2021, BC Emergency Health Services responded to 35,525 overdoses. Between last year’s awareness day and May 30 of this year, 1,740 overdose deaths occurred in B.C. Statistics point to an increase of 32 per cent over the previous year.

“It is this knowledge that drives us to do more,” said Holmes.

The 22nd International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. People can participate in local awareness events, post a tribute to loved ones who have passed away from overdoses on social media using hashtag #EndOverdose or donate to a local cause and spread the message that overdose is preventable.

The family-friendly event will take place on Aug. 31 at Mill Lake Park’s picnic shelter #4 at Bevan Ave. The welcome and walk begins at 6:30 p.m. and the memorial ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m. Guests are invited to honour their loved one by bringing a framed photo for display.

To register to attend, donate or support the event in another way, visit



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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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