Getting the Word Out

Family Services of Warren County Holds National Overdose Awareness Event

Family Services of Warren County held its annual Overdose Awareness Day event at General Joseph Warren Park on Thursday.

WARREN, Pa. – It’s all about awareness.

Thursday (Aug. 31) represented International Overdose Awareness Day, and Family Services of Warren County is making sure that the local community is informed.

The group held its annual National Overdose Awareness event at General Joseph Warren Park in Warren, complete with music, food, activities, and plenty of informational tables.

“So really, a lot of our efforts here are trying to get out as many resources as we can for harm reduction or for treatment for individuals who are suffering with substance abuse or any kind of substance use issues,” said Andrew Cauley, Director of Substance Abuse Services at Family Services Inc. of Warren County. “A lot of what we’re trying to do is get as much Naloxone, brand name is Narcan, out into the community as possible. I think a large part of the push is getting people to understand that a person who is overdosing can’t save themselves. And more often than not, a person, who is a loved one, friend, family member has the best likelihood of saving them, far more frequently than a first responder.”

Cauley reiterated the importance of having Narcan in the community and stressed that it is completely harmless.

“It won’t hurt somebody if for some reason they aren’t overdosing,” Cauley said.

Cauley also stressed that events like the one Family Services hold have helped improve awareness and reduced the stigma associated with overdose.

“There’s a lot of things that are happening,” Cauley said. “We’re coming out of COVID, some people are starting to engage a little bit better for their communities. Deerfield and our organization are both making a strong push with our recovery support, peer-based services for individuals. We’ve had a lot of events and we’ve been fortunate enough to receive some grant funding for our recovery support system, so we’ve just been trying to create activities for people in recovery to participate in.”

And they are also finding that more people are stepping up to the plate to help.

“We’re really trying to get other people in the community who want to be available as a support for people that are in recovery, to participate in those events,” Cauley said. “We’ve had a lot of success with that. We’ve had three community members for every one person who is actually involved in our program to come out for those events, which is extraordinary. They just sit down, have a burger, have a cup of coffee, have a conversation, which is really important.”

To find out more about what Family Services of Warren County offers, or to get involved, click here.