In observance of International Overdose Awareness Day, Wheeler’s Connecticut Clearinghouse at 334 Farmington Avenue will host a community Remembrance Quilt workshop event on Saturday, August 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., during which the memory of those lost to substance use disorders, including opioid addiction, will be honored.
This event is part of a statewide Remembrance Quilt initiative—launched in 2017 by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) —to honor loved ones who have died from substance use disorders or addiction. “This event, one of several held across Connecticut since 2017, provides an opportunity for individuals and families to come together to remember and memorialize their loved ones in a supportive and caring environment. When displayed in the community, the Remembrance Quilts have been very powerful in reducing stigma and starting meaningful conversations about substance use,” said Judith Stonger, MA, CPS, CARC, vice president of Prevention, Wellness and Recovery, Wheeler. “More than 150 individuals have been memorialized through the Remembrance Quilt project to date.”
Participants will create a square in honor of their loved one, which will be added to statewide Remembrance Quilts. Supplies will be provided; however, participants may bring their own supplies as well, including a photo of their loved one, preferably on a flash drive (but not required). Wheeler staff and local community volunteers will be on hand to guide all activities and help bring ideas to fruition. No sewing or quilting experience is required. Participants also may come to the event with a pre-made square. Instructions for creating squares can be found here, or accessed here: drugfreect.org/prevention-and-intervention/memorial-quilts/submit-a-remembrance-quilt-square/
Squares collected at each event will be joined together by quilting groups, communities of quilters who have donated their time and talent to this effort. The quilts will be displayed across Connecticut to pay tribute to those who died and help raise awareness of substance use disorders and addiction.
In the United States, one in four deaths is attributable to alcohol, tobacco, and illicit or prescription drug use. Data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that 1,038 people died of accidental drug overdose in Connecticut in 2017, and 1,017 individuals died in 2018. People may also participate by submitting completed squares to Connecticut Clearinghouse. For more information, visit drugfreect.org/prevention-and-intervention/ memorial-quilts/submit-a-remembrance-quilt-square
All are welcome, but should register at www.ctclearinghouse.com/registration or by calling 800-232-4424.
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