Downtown Mission Raises Awareness To Prevent Drug Overdoses

The Downtown Mission in Windsor is hoping to save lives by recognizing Overdose Awareness Day.

Several community organizations and social services groups were on hand Friday to speak to people about ways to prevent drug overdose and to help someone with a drug problem.

Many overdoses are the result of opioids which includes codeine, methadone, morphine and oxycodone.

Director of Programming and Services Michelle Nicodemo says overdoses affect the entire organization.

"To us, they are not just another number, a lot of the times here at the mission, we spend so much time with these individuals that they become like family members to us as well," she says.  "You could be talking to somebody one day and then the next day, you hear that they have passed away from overdose so it doesn't just affect their peers at the mission, it affects me and my staff and our organization as a whole."

As part of the day, the downtown mission held a memorial service and tree planting on its property on Victoria Ave.

"We want to make sure that we respect them in their passing and we do something to support and commemorate the people that we have lost," adds Nicodemo.

 Organizations on hand include the Windsor Youth Centre, Aids Committee of Windsor, House of Sophrosyne and New Beginnings.

 According to the Windsor-Essex Health Unit, there were 37 opioid-related deaths in 2016 and from January to September of 2017, there were 19.