Thursday, September 8, 2016

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Attends International Overdose Awareness Event

As part of International Overdose Awareness Day, on Friday, September 2, 2016, members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office attended a community gathering and labyrinth walk. A labyrinth walk is a complicated maze which encourages inner reflection. The event was held at the Beacon of Hope of Walden, in Lexington Park. 

Community members including individuals in recovery, families grieving the loss of children, and individuals gathering in support of their friends were invited to walk the labyrinth. Before entering, each person was explained the intent of the walk and encouraged to find peace within themselves as they navigated the maze. 

“While the winds from Hermine prevented us [Walden] from using the luminary bags the way they were intended, we were still able to use the labyrinth pattern onto the sidewalk, with the unlit bags to help as guides in a healing way,” said Laura Webb, Walden Sierra. 

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. Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. 

Capt. Daniel Alioto, Commander, Vice-Narcotics, expressed his appreciation for the special invitation for the Sheriff's Office to attend this event. “Thank you to the leaders of Walden for inviting the Sheriff’s Office,” Capt. Alioto said. “We are grateful that individuals in our community affected by addiction have an outlet such as Walden Sierra. We are also inspired by the citizens of this community who realize that policing is not always about prosecution, it is also about serving the citizens with compassion."

(L-R Laura Webb and Captain Daniel Alioto)

Attendees walk the labyrinth at the Beacon of Hope of Walden in Lexington Park, as part of their International Overdose Awareness Day event.