CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Nearly a hundred people came out on Monday to show their support and remember those whose lives were cut short and those affected by an overdose as part of an overdose awareness event in Cape Girardeau.
This particular event included a non-denominational service, followed by a eco-friendly balloon release in honor of those who have been affected by overdose.
Gibson Recovery Support Services Director Scott Moyers is there to help with the event but also is a person in recovery himself.
He said it’s important for everyone to do their part in reducing the stigma and raise awareness.
“It’s hard,” Moyers said. “Stopping any addiction. Trying to get any addiction under control isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work. And I had a lot of help. I went through the Gibson Center as a client. I had to totally learn a whole new way of life without the substances because I very nearly could have been one of those statistics.”
FCC Behavioral Health partnered with Gibson Recovery Center and Community Counseling Center to host this joint event on August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day.
FCC Behavioral Health - Serenity Pointe Center Program Director Misty Brazel said it’s important to do as much as they can to help these people in their times of need.
“We can get our message out and help stop this stigma and hopefully prevent some of these deaths. They’re all preventable,” Brazel said. “Hopefully we can get clients to come in and to get treatment and for this to be treated like a disease, we can save thousands of lives.”
Gibson Recovery Center Chief Operating Officer Ryan Essex said hopefully this event will help springboard change in people’s lives and spread the message of hope and recovery.
“Hopefully it will save a life,” Essex said. “If we can get out here and get the message out and really let folks know in the community and around the country that we need to continue to be aware that overdoses are a problem in this country. That there are methods out there to save people’s lives. People don’t have to die from overdoses. We have education, treatment and life saving medication. So that’s what this day is about.”
Before people released their balloons, each of them got the chance to write a personal message about their loved ones or about themselves.