No matter where in the world you are, chances are there are people in your community dying of overdose from a toxic drug supply. August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), an annual day of action for our neighbours, family, friends and community members who have been lost to and impacted by the overdose crisis.

This International Overdose Awareness Day, at FIRST UNITED we are launching our first annual Streaming for Overdose Awareness campaign. In honour of the over 10,000 lives lost in British Columbia, we are partnering with content creators to raise $10,000 for our life-saving work in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Canada.

There are few, if any, places in Canada that have been hit harder by the overdose crisis in the past decade than the Downtown Eastside.

Death from overdose—overwhelmingly caused by a tainted and toxic supply of street drugs—is now the number one cause of unnatural death in British Columbia.

The deadly supply of toxic drugs has exasperated existing issues of cyclical poverty, lack of accessible and safe housing, and mental and physical health challenges that community members in the Downtown Eastside face. This is a community of deep strength and deep struggle, and with the onslaught of the overdose crisis, grief has become a constant companion for the people we serve. Last year, FIRST UNITED saved 32 lives by reversing overdoses. We are grateful to have been able to intervene in those cases, but we know that this is not enough.

At FIRST UNITED, we are on the frontlines, keeping people in the Downtown Eastside community safe by providing harm-reduction supplies, reversing overdoses, and offering essential services including safe shelter and meals.

In addition to addressing immediate needs, we continue to push for sensible evidence-based drug policy that includes safe supply and decriminalization.

This August we need your help to continue to respond every day to the needs of one of the most affected communities in Canada during the overdose crisis.

To help us get to $10,000 for our life-saving work, donate today to our streaming campaign or sign up to fundraise for our campaign.

Join us this International Overdose Awareness Day and help us work towards our vision of a neighbourhood where every person’s worth is celebrated, and all people thrive.

Helpful Links:
• Start a fundraising stream for FIRST UNITED with Streamlabs Charity
• Donate to FIRST UNITED’s streaming campaign
• Learn more about the event on our Streaming For Overdose Awareness page

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