October 12, 2017 5:44 pm

Local street paper hosts Vancouver forums on overdose crisis

Jackie Wong moderates the first installment of the How to Save a Life series.

Global News
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Overdose activists and a non profit street magazine have partnered to launch series of forums on the overdose crisis.

The How to Save a Life Series sponsored by Megaphone Magazine and the Overdose Prevention Society involves six events taking place at various neighbourhood houses throughout Vancouver to create conversations about the epidemic.

“It’s important for people on the front lines to speak to how the crisis has impacted them,” said Jessica Hannon, executive director of Megaphone Magazine.

“Through the How to Save a Life series we’re amplifying the voices of people who use drugs and the community response to the overdose crisis.”

Hannon said the last two years have been traumatizing among communities who use drugs.

According to the BC Coroners Service, more than one thousand people have died of an overdose this year across the province.

“Outside of the Downtown Eastside I think there are a lot of people who are concerned and who want to help,” she said.

“I think there is a lot more stigma around drug use and a lot less community capacity to respond if someone does have an overdose.”

WATCH: Dramatic increase in opioid deaths and hospitalizations

Hannon’s hope is to bridge the gap between drug users and communities experiencing this epidemic.

“At Megaphone we felt like we needed to take action and do what we could.”

The Overdose Prevention Society will provide naloxone training to attendees to respond to an overdose if they do see one.

The free event runs until November 13.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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