The Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee hosting 4th annual Substance Abuse Memorial

Plamedie Ifasso
The Daily Ardmoreite

The Carter County Substance Abuse Prevention Committee will be hosting its 4th annual Carter County Substance Abuse Memorial August 31 at the McClure Chapel at First United Methodist in Ardmore.

Jayci Enerson, regional prevention coordinator-director for Wichita Mountains Prevention Network, said that the organizers want to create an event where people can remember their loved one and get information about local resources. 

“The goal of the event is to give Carter County residents an opportunity to honor loved ones that they have lost to substance abuse and also to make it a location where people can get information on local resources regarding substance abuse,” Enerson said. “We’re trying to make it more of a hopeful event but also be respectful of those that we’ve lost.” 

The memorial will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m, and organizers will be social distancing and encourage attendees to follow CDC’s recommended guidelines. There will be free food, music and a candlelight vigil. In addition to information on local resources, attendees will also receive Naloxone kit, an opioid overdose reverse drug, while supplies last and have an opportunity to win prizes. 

The event will also feature guest speakers who will share their experience with substance abuse.

“Most of them have either lost someone to substance abuse, or they are in recovery for substance abuse,” chair of the CCSPAC, Lisa Jackson said. “Then we have one speaker that is going to talk about homelessness in our county and its relation to substance abuse.”

Jackson said organizers decided to hold the memorial on August 31 because it is International Overdose Awareness Day and will aim to hold it on August 31 every year.  

“We will probably hold it on the 31st of August every year because International Overdose Awareness Day is basically the same concept that we have for the memorial,” Jackson said. 

Enerson said the memorial was originally started because the organization wanted to show how substance abuse is an issue in the community in a respectful way. 

“As a group, we just felt like we needed to do something to draw attention to how big the problem is,” Enerson said. “We wanted to be respectful because it is a sensitive topic, and I think everybody knows someone who has been affected by it. As a group, we felt like we should step up and do something like this for the county.”