Candlelight Vigil Brings Awareness to Drug-Related Overdose

Texarkana— August 17, 2022 Southwest Arkansas Counseling & Mental Health Center and River Ridge Treatment Center are inviting the public to attend a candlelight vigil that will be held at the Federal Building / Post Office steps in downtown Texarkana on August 31, 2022, in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day. 

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and 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 met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. 

As stated by SWACMHC Executive Director Mike Cluts “We want to keep in mind those we have lost.  Our efforts are not only to treat the addicted individual but to support those affected by drug related situations.  Our ultimate hope is for a day where we don’t have to gather to mourn the lives lost to drug abuse.  I believe that events like this vigil can bring hope to the families that have lost someone to drug related death as we continue to fight the war on drugs”. 

Counseling Intern Eric Parks with River Ridge Treatment Center shares, “Truly, with the outbreak of Fentanyl in this area I think community involvement like this will help the people that are unaware the seriousness of this drug; it may get them involved. I think it is common for many people to not see an issue unless it presents itself directly to them.  Raising awareness will help”, 

This vigil will take place from 8:00 PM-9:00 PM, Wednesday August 31at 500 N State Line Ave, Texarkana, AR 71854. If you would like to be considered to speak about a lost loved one, would like to share your loved one’s name, to be announced at the event, or if you would simply like to volunteer to assist with cleaning the grounds afterwards feel free to send an email to [email protected]

Originating in 1967, with a name change in 1974; officially becoming a 501(c)(3) in 1982 SWACMHC celebrates 55 years of serving Southwest Arkansas and extends its appreciation to the communities of Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Pike, and Sevier Counties for allowing us to call you home.  It is the mission of Southwest Arkansas Counseling & Mental Health Center to prevent, treat, and cure mental illnesses and related disorders.  No one will be denied services due to an inability to pay.  A sliding fee scale is available and is based on family size and income. 

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