Wedge Gardens’ therapeutic team centred its activities around overdose awareness in the last week of August 2018, to mark #InternationalOverdoseDay2018 on Friday, 31 August.
Activities included intervention work (like incorporating lectures on the traumas relating to an overdose) and the sharing of national statistics and stories relating to drug overdose. Also discussed were the different types of drugs associated with overdose, the high risk of mixing certain drugs, the dangers of reduced tolerance and the threats association with getting drugs from unfamiliar suppliers.
“We looked at prevention, recognition and basic response tools as well,” says addiction specialist Karen Griessel, who is a social worker at Wedge Gardens.
“On a lighter note, each patient made a mask depicting their inward and outward feelings regarding addiction and the painful reality of overdose.
“We have also implemented a chalk paint wall where we each patient can write up their pro-life quote in remembrance of those who have lost their fight against the disease of addiction. By having participants write an inspiring message on the wall, we were able to conclude that day’s activities on a positive note.”
People are encouraged to wear silver on Friday to spread awareness of International Overdose Day. This global event aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.
Wedge Gardens is Sanca-affiliated, and both the Sanca National Office and the Sanca National Academy of Learning are based at Wedge Gardens, which is easily accessible from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni.
Wedge Gardens: 011 430 0320 / 071 690 4942
Wedge Gardens social worker Karen Griessel with people undergoing rehab at the substance abuse treatment centre. They are wearing masks they made to depict their inward and outward feelings regarding addiction.