Butler County residents are invited to join others from around the area at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln this weekend to help recognize Recovery Month and International Overdose Awareness Day.
An estimated 140,000 Nebraskans suffer from substance use disorders, according to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services. As such, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, the Division of Behavioral Health’s Office of Consumer Affairs in the DHHS is inviting the public to participate in a candlelight vigil at the Nebraska State Capitol to remember those lost to a substance use-related death, provide support for those experiencing substance use disorders, and support the families affected by the disease.
“This event will shine a light on September as Recovery Month and International Overdose Awareness Day, held Aug. 31 each year,” said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health, in a prepared statement. “Holding public events normalizes the healthcare conversation on substance use disorders. It provides an opportunity for us to reflect on practical ways to prevent overdose in our community and examine the ways we can help Nebraskans struggling with substance use disorder find help.”
Brenda Moes, the newly appointed administrator of the Office of Consumer Affairs in the Division of Behavioral Health, also shared her perspective.
“We want to reduce the stigma of substance use disorders and offer hope for those who are still struggling,” she said. “Sadly, the stigma often keeps people from seeking the support and treatment that individuals and their families need. We believe that hope brings addiction out of the shadows and into the light and that people can and do recover.”
*What: Recovery Month and International Overdose Awareness Day Vigil
*When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31
*Where: Nebraska State Capitol, North Plaza
* Ceremony facilitated by Reverend Otto Schultz, Erik Delaney will share his personal story of moving from substance use disorder to recovery.
*There will be a limited number of free luminarias. Attendees are encouraged to bring a photo of a lost loved one to attach to the bag.
*Other Recovery Month events will take place statewide throughout the month of September.