More than 21 million Americans have a substance use disorder. Every day, almost 9 New Yorkers die from opioid related deaths. Wherever crowds gather so does addiction, and overdose is a clear and present danger. The New York State Fair, where tens of thousands of people converge each day, is educating about addiction, overdose, Stigma.

A day at the Great New York State FAIR to fight addiction, remember overdose victims, and Stomp Out Stigma. 

On Friday, August 30, 2019, the Great New York State Fair will partner with the Central Region Addiction Resource Center, a program of the Madison County Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Inc., to host the 2ndAnnual Stomp Out Stigma (SOS) Day.

Stigma means a mark of disgrace and is synonymous with shame. The stigma associated with substance use permeates society and is the greatest barrier to treating addiction and stopping overdose. August is Overdose Awareness Month and September is Addiction Recovery Month. Caring agencies are out in force to advance a community-wide effort to create public awareness, end overdose, treat addiction, and foster recovery. 

SOS Day brings the effort to center-stage with a service provider information fair at Chevy Court Pavilion from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All are welcome as groups from the region will join in solidarity to offer the public support and resources and spread a message of unity and hope. 

“It is an honor to partner with the New York State Fair and the multiple agencies that will be represented on Stomp Out Stigma Day,” said Lauren Davie, Project Coordinator for the Central Region Addiction Resource Center. “Stigma is still a barrier to people struggling with a Substance Use Disorder receiving the care they want and/or need and by working with the New York State Fair, we are able to continue the conversation in our own community about what services are available, how someone can get connected to those services, and to remind the community that no one is alone on their journey.”

The theme of this year’s SOS Day is “Stories of Hope.” The public is encouraged to submit a personal story of hope here, which can be done online prior to or at the event.

This year, in addition to the SOS Day provider fair, the Central Region Addiction Resource Center is teaming up with Prevention Network of CNY, HEAL Onondaga, and Refuge Recovery for an Overdose Awareness Vigil at the New York Experience Field from 7:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Syracuse Mayor, Ben Walsh, will address the Vigil crowd as will Mary Hall, whose son Dennis Katz died from an overdose this spring. The vigil is in honor of Dennis Katz. The event will end with a blessing, and a moment of silence, as decorated lake lanterns are set adrift in the pond to memorialize all those lost to an overdose.

Please see the full day’s activities agenda below:

SOS Day, Friday, August 30, 2019

Service Provider Information Fair

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Chevy Court Pavilion

Overdose Awareness Vigil

7:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. – The New York State Experience Field

*Available for support at both events will be volunteer members of the parent grief support groups 315 and 607 Healing Hearts, and the meditation-based addiction recovery group Refuge Recovery Syracuse.

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