River Market is pleased to host the New Westminster Overdose Memorial created by artists from the New Westminster Overdose Community Action Team
The annual number of fatal and non-fatal overdoses reported in New Westminster has been increasing since 2015 with a total of 10 overdose deaths reported in 2016, which has rapidly increased to 35 overdose deaths in 2018. Recent statistics indicate that over 70% of overdose deaths in the Fraser Health region occur in private residences. Contributing factors include the criminalization of drugs and a poisoned drug supply. Another major contributing factor is stigma, which leads people to use alone and not reach out for help, placing them at much higher risk of overdose and overdose death.
Stigma reduction plays a key role in the work of the NWOCAT.
See local coverage here: https://www.newwestrecord.ca/news/memorial-set-up-in-new-west-for-overdose-awareness-day-1.24196124