A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Fly a kite to remember drug overdose victims in Kites4Hope memorial at Jacobson Park


(From Kites4Hope)

(From Kites4Hope)

 
Staff report
 
In the face of an epidemic, many are tempted to turn away in defeat and impotence. But, not The Fayette County Heroin Task Force. They’re going to go fly a kite!
 
To observe International Overdose Awareness Day, on Aug. 31 this year, the task force will sponsor a free local event this Saturday, Aug. 23, at 2 p.m. in Jacobson Park. There will be a brief presentation, a ceremonial tree planting and a group kite flying.
 
Kites4Hope has been organized to “symbolize hope, hoping we find a way to help people fly above their addictions,” says Josh Nadzam, a social worker based in Lexington and associate of the task force.
 
From 2002 to 2005, says Nadzam, there were zero heroin deaths in Lexington. In 2012, there were 22 and a year later, in 2013, that number doubled to 44. The number of heroin overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2013 was 230, a 60 percent increase from the previous year.
 
“The heroin task force has been hard at work doing everything possible to halt this trend and find help for those suffering,” he adds. “I’m just joining the battle in helping prepare for Kites4Hope, where we will have a memorial tree planing in honor of those we have lost to heroin and drug overdose. Then, we will distribute kites to all those in attendance.”
 
The Overdose Awareness Day “has been a key remembrance event for those who have died from fatal drug overdoses since 2001,” according to a press release. The purpose of the event is “to spread the word that no one need feel shame or disgrace over a drug overdose.”
 
Kites4Hope on Saturday is a way to prepare the community for the end-of-the-month remembrance. Kites are free while supplies last. For more information, contact Sharon Tankersley at 859-225-3296 ext. 658 or setankersl@bluegrass.org. For more information on Facebook, click here.
 
The events serve as reminders, according to the release, “that all medications – not just illicit drugs – can be dangerous and that no one is immune to overdose.”


Related Posts

Leave a Comment