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Community Opioid Action Team hosts Flags of Hope Friday

To observe International Opioid Awareness Day on Friday, August 31, the recently formed Community Opioid Action Team (COAT) will be hosting a Flags of Hope event at the City Hall lawn.
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COAT’s Martha Funk and Stephanie Lowe help Mayor Dale Bumstead make a proclamation for International Opioid Awareness Day.

To observe International Opioid Awareness Day on Friday, August 31, the recently formed Community Opioid Action Team (COAT) will be hosting a Flags of Hope event at the City Hall lawn.

They will be making fabric flags to honour loved ones lost, which will be flown. There will also be food. The event is open to the public.

“We encourage everybody to come,” says Martha Funk. “Everyone’s who possibly lost someone to addiction, someone who’s supporting someone with addiction, or if you’re struggling with your own addiction, we encourage you to come join us for food, friendships, some conversation, and some support.”

The goal of COAT is to raise awareness. They say they are a “grassroots coalition of concerned community members in Dawson Creek who have seen the need to be proactive about the ongoing opioid crisis. Our focus is on preventing further harms from substance use by utilizing Peer Engagement and Harm Reduction approaches.”

“Our main goals are community engagement, education, and reducing stigma,” says Stephanie Lowe.

“It’s made up of concerned members from all walks of life — those who are service providers in Dawson Creek to those who have loved ones with addiction or who lived with addiction.”

Theresa Simmonds, whose son Michael Mulligan died from an fentanyl overdose, organized the Flags of Hope event.

The Flags of Hope is just the first event they hope to host. By the beginning of next year, Lowe says they want to put on World Cafe events, which will invite the community “to brainstorm some answers or different ways of action to help support the community when it comes to opioid overdose.”

Flags of Hope goes from 5 to 7 pm at the City Hall lawn Friday. For more information on COAT, go to https://www.facebook.com/pg/communityopioidactionteam or email spopioiddialogue@gmail.com.

reporter@dcdn.ca