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Fall River to mark International Overdose Awareness day with vigil, procession, services

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Several events have been scheduled in Fall River for International Overdose Awareness Day to bring remembrance, awareness, education and action in hopes of decreasing overdose deaths.

Recover Fall River, in coordination with the City of Fall River Opioid Task Force, is pleased to announce that the annual Greater Fall River vigil will be held on Saturday, August 31,2019, outside of Government Center. (The event will move to the atrium of City Hall in the event of inclement weather.) Members of the community are invited to interact with local providers beginning at 5:00 p.m., at which time individuals may access information and/or services for themselves or their loved ones. The community will gather, and a DJ will be entertaining guests. At 7:00 p.m., speakers will share stories commemorating lost loved ones and inspiring hope for recovery. Live music will be provided by Bob Porawski. Family members who have lost a loved one will participate in a dove release courtesy of Bob Desmarais.

To acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or been permanently injured as a result of drug overdose, a candlelight vigil has also been planned.

The vigil will include a memorial video comprised of photos, submitted by members of our community, of their loved ones lost to a substance related passing.

The event will conclude with a candlelight procession led by the Fall River Young Marines from Government Center to St. Anne’s Shrine where the church bell will ring for each life lost to overdose in the las year. A shuttle will be available for anyone with mobility issues.

Massachusetts had 2033 unintentional overdose deaths in 2018, a decrease of less than 1 percent from the number of unintentional overdose deaths in 2017, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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