August 30, 6:30-8 pm, Mary’s Gourmet Diner, 723 N. Trade Street, Winston-Salem
On Thursday, August 30th from 6:30-8:00 pm, the Twin City Harm Reduction Collective (TCHRC), along with other sponsoring groups and agencies, will sponsor a community wide gathering, Not One More: Remembering Loved Ones, Hope for those Struggling with Addiction. This event will take place on the patio of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, 723 N. Trade Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. This will be a time for families and friends who have lost loved ones to overdose to come together to grieve and hold out hope for those still struggling with addiction.
TCHRC began its work in December 2016. With the legalization of community needle exchanges in North Carolina, TCHRC was started by Colin Miller and Erika Mishoe. The goal of harm reduction is to reduce the negative consequences associated with drug use through the implementation of practical and research-based strategies, including syringe exchange, education, testing for infectious diseases, and referrals to treatment and other resources.
TCHRC operates a syringe exchange out of Green Street UMC (639 S. Green Street, Winston Salem, 27101). 10 + volunteers work the Exchange, on three days each week (Mondays, 3-6 pm, Wednesdays, 3-6 pm, and Saturdays, 1:15-3:00 pm).
In 2017, TCHRC distributed 51,849 clean syringes, and collected 25,212 used ones. They also gave out 746 overdose reversal kits (which were used to reverse 136 reported ODs!). 67 people were connected to treatment. By the end of July this year, they have exceeded these totals from last year! This reflects the greater reach of the Collective’s work, and the expanding crisis of opioid use. While syringe exchanges are an important part of overdose prevention, they are only one part of the opioid epidemic sweeping across the United States. According to The New York Times, overdose deaths in North Carolina have risen 20 percent in the past year.
This event is on the eve of the National Overdose Awareness Day (August 31st). It is an opportunity for people who have been affected by Overdose Deaths to come together to remember their loved ones, and to tell the story of those who have died and raise awareness so that Not One More person is lost, and Not One More family is affected by overdose.
TCHRC especially invites parents/families of people affected by addiction or overdose, but also those encountering the epidemic: drug users, first responders, health care workers, medical community, counselors, recovery community, faith community leaders, elected officials. Coming together to heighten awareness and ensure thatNot One More person is lost.
This event is being sponsored by TCHRC, Green Street United Methodist Church, the Forsyth County Opioid Task Force, Faith Health Innovation, Mary Haglund, and The Nick Fund.