Mesa County continues to be touched by the tragic impacts of drug overdose. Throughout the past year there have been more than 1,140 deaths related to overdoses in Colorado. According to the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, local deaths due to overdose numbered 32.
To honor these valuable lives, Mesa County Opioid Response Group (MCORG) will display flags at Lincoln Park in Grand Junction on International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. This day provides a time to reflect and educate the community about local prevention resources. There will be flags representing the number of people in Colorado who have died from a drug overdose, with different colored flags representing the lives lost in Mesa County.
MCORG includes different agencies in Mesa County, including Mesa County Public Health and Western Colorado Area Health Education Center (WCAHEC). This group represents the full scope of overdose services: treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and prevention education. Over the last year they had 3.7k people complete naloxone training. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications.
“Our theme for International Overdose Awareness day is, A time to remember, a time to act. We will remember the lives taken by overdose and prevent similar tragedies in the future. The most important thing for our community to know is that these deaths can be prevented,” said Brandon Gray, a Community Health Planner for Mesa County Public Health and a member of MCORG.
The public is invited to join MCORG on Thursday, August 31 to view the flag display and pause in remembrance of those lives lost. Their team will be on hand to connect people with local resources throughout the day at different locations:
- Lincoln Park 8-11 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.
- Colorado Mesa University 1-3 p.m.
List of Substance Use Treatment resources are available on the Healthy Mesa County website.