CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) Group, in partnership with REST Inc. and the Hyde Wesleyan Church, will be holding a memorial service on Aug. 31 – International Overdose Awareness Day – to remember those lost to overdose and other drug-related deaths.
Nationally, the Center for Disease Control has estimated that the number of people in the United States who had died from overdose in the 12-month period to the end of September of 2020 was 90,237.
Over the last year, the area’s overdose rate has increased by 64 percent, according to Clearfield-Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission data.
International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.
The campaign raises awareness of overdose, which is one of the world’s worst public health crises and stimulates action and discussion about evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy.
The campaign acknowledges the profound grief felt by families and friends whose loved ones have died or suffered permanent injury from a drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death and that drug overdose is preventable.
This is the first year the local PAL group has held such a service but a spokesperson for the group shared: “We’ve lost two loved ones within our PAL family over the last year from drug-induced deaths and have seen the heartache it brings.
“We know there are so many families in our community who have experienced this type of loss, and countless more who have loved ones impacted by the disease of addiction.
“This is just a small way we can come alongside these folks, love on them, remember with them, and maybe provide a little hope.”
The memorial service, called “An Evening of Remembrance and Hope” will begin at 6 p.m. at the Hyde Wesleyan Church, 1215 Riverview Rd., Clearfield.
The public is encouraged to attend this service, which will include music, speakers and a lantern release in honor of those gone too soon.
Any family members who have lost a loved one to overdose or other drug-related death are requested to please e-mail their loved one’s name and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org to be compiled into a memorial video, which will be played during the service.
All submissions should be made no later than Aug. 23. Interested participants are also welcome to call 814-762-2933 with any questions.