DELAWARE, Oh. — Local communities in Delaware County and around the world are coming together to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose.

Observed on August 31 every year, International Overdose Awareness Day along with Overdose Prevention Month in September seek to create a better understanding of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths.

In collaboration with our community partners, the Delaware Public Health District’s Project DAWN program aims to engage more people in conversations surrounding addiction and recovery and provide more resources to the community. The following opportunities have been planned during this timeframe to help the community learn more about preventing drug overdoses.

  • Marissa Brooke 2nd Annual Memorial Golf Outing. On Aug. 27, 2023, Health District staff will distribute free Naloxone kits at Royal American Links in Galena in memory of Marissa Brooke, who sadly lost her life to a drug overdose in 2018. If interested, click here to register for golf outing.
  • Basic Life Support Class for Opioid Overdoses. On Aug. 29, 2023, residents are invited to participate in CPR and Naloxone training from 5:30-6:30pm at Maryhaven located at 88 N. Sandusky Street in Delaware. Participants will leave with a free Naloxone kit. Those interested are asked to register at:
  • Overdose Awareness Day at the JAYwalk on Ohio Wesleyan University campus. On Aug. 31, 2023 from 11am-1pm, Health District and Drug-Free Delaware staff will be on hand to give out free Kona Ice snow cones along with Naloxone education materials and take-home kits.
  • “A Conversation About Addiction & Recovery” Movie Series. Every Tuesday during the month of September, residents can watch a free movie at the Strand Theatre starting at 6:30pm that centers around addiction and recovery. The series will also feature a guest speaker that will give a real-life perspective on the theme of the movie.

In addition, the Health District has recently been able to place the first “Naloxboxes” at Syntero in Lewis Center and the United Way of Delaware County’s TreeHouse, which is a transitional living location for young adults. Similar to a first aid kit, these “Naloxboxes” give visitors access to Naloxone in the event of an overdose emergency.

In 2021, provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated there were 107,622 drug overdose deaths, an increase of 15 percent from 2020. Locally, 30 Delaware County residents lost their life to an overdose death in 2022.

“By coming together to remember them, we stand together to say that more needs to be done to end drug overdose in our community,” said DPHD Health Commissioner Garrett Guillozet. “We encourage members of the community to come to our events and to stand in solidarity with those who have been personally affected by drug overdose.”

More events and opportunities will be forthcoming this fall, including a drug overdose prevention collaboration with the Delaware County Sheriff’s office at this year’s Delaware County Fair and working with Delaware County municipalities to increase access to “Naloxboxes”.

Currently, residents can contact either Maryhaven or the Health District to receive a free Project DAWN Naloxone kit. For more information, visit

Last Updated on August 17, 2023