PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Sunday marks the first National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day, which will recognize more than 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
According to the group Facing Fentanyl, the national day was established in remembrance of loved ones that died from fentanyl poisoning. It is also recognized to acknowledge the devastation fentanyl has brought to thousands of affected family members and friends.
It allows affected family members to come together, sharing their lived experiences as a whole group, to warn youth and the public about the dangers of the drug.
“There are people who understand that unique grief and all they need to do is reach out, we’re here, we’re available, we can be a support network. There are people around the area and around the country that are part of this network, this awful fraternity, and sorority of people who’ve lost their loved ones,” said Chris Schaffner, program director at JOLT Harm Reduction.
JOLT does fentanyl testing and will provide Narcan to those who may need it.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, JOLT is holding a community-based conversation about the opioid crisis in Central Illinois at the Reachway Church in Peoria.