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Two Local Events Planned to Mark International Overdose Awareness Day

Published: 8/16/2018

Poughkeepsie ... International Overdose Awareness Day, which aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death, is recognized on Aug. 31; and the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) encourages residents to attend a pair of events that will educate the community about the dangers of addiction, raise awareness about the current opioid epidemic and train residents in the use of Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

These events exemplify the County’s “Breaking Through” initiative, which works to break the stigma surrounding substance abuse and mental health issues, while offering numerous resources to help those affected, and their loved ones, along their road to recovery. Both events will offer Narcan training for attendees who are interested.

In 2017, there were nearly 72,000 overdose deaths in the United States, according to a provisional overdose death count report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DBCH staff has trained nearly 3,500 individuals in the administration of Narcan since January 2017.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Dutchess County continues its strides to break through the stigma associated with addiction and provide life-saving program and services to aid those on their path to recovery. These upcoming events are great opportunities to build awareness of the epidemic and gain understanding, as well as training in Narcan. I encourage residents to attend these events and invest several minutes in learning how to potentially save a life.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., DBCH staff will offer an educational presentation on the science of addiction and recovery at its campus at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie. Designed for a wide range of audiences, the training will review how alcohol and other drugs impact the brain and behavior, what makes a person vulnerable to addiction and reoccurrence, the science and neuroscience of recovery, and more. The training is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, and registration is required prior to the event. To register, please contact Amanda Brennan at (845) 486-2844 or email

“We encourage members of our community to attend this informative training to really open up the conversation about addiction, stigma, and recovery,” DBCH Commissioner A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH said. “Whether you are in recovery yourself, an interested family member or friend of someone in recovery, or wishing to become an ally or advocate for the recovery community, this training will offer valuable insight to that end.”

The Walkway Over the Hudson will host its Overdose Awareness Walk on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 9 a.m. In addition to Narcan training, peer-to-peer counseling will be available at the walk, and County Executive Molinaro and DBCH Director of Behavioral Health Clinical Services William Eckert will be among the speakers. Sponsored by the Matt Herring Foundation, the event seeks to remember those who have lost their lives to overdose and support those who are struggling with addiction and fighting the stigma that keeps people from getting help. More information is available at

DBCH continually offers Narcan training throughout Dutchess County. Families or civic groups looking to host Narcan trainings can call the Department at (845) 486-2885 or (845) 486-2844. Narcan training is also available for residents at the Stabilization Center 24 hours a day on a walk-in basis. Residents can walk into the Stabilization Center, located at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie, and receive both training in the proper administration of Narcan and a kit with the medication upon completion. No appointment is necessary to receive the training.