Strom Peterson at candlelight vigil Aug. 31

Public invited to event remembering those lost, struggling with opioid addiction
Aug 27, 2017

Edmonds resident and business owner Strom Peterson, who represents Edmonds as a 21st District legislator, is the host for a program that is part of “A Night to Remember, A Time to Act” 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.

The event is to mark International Overdose Awareness Day, and will be held at Thornton A. Sullivan Park, 11400 Silver Lake Road, Everett.

Attendees are welcome to bring chairs or blankets, and free candles will be available at the event.

Peterson acknowledges that there still is a lot of work to be done. He’s introduced a safe medicine take-back bill, based on the work currently being done in Snohomish and King counties, to keep pills from getting into the hands of young people.

On Aug. 1, Edmonds became the first city in the county to debut drop-off kiosk boxes for the safe disposal of unwanted drugs.

Peterson also is working to better fund medically approved drug treatment programs and detox facilities. It’s a top legislative priority for Peterson, who has lost a family member to an overdose.

In 2016, Snohomish County lost over 90 people to an opioid overdose. The tragedy of overdose is far too frequent but is ultimately preventable. Overdose prevention, education and recognition play a crucial role in saving lives.

The event will honor Corey Lee and Spencer Warfield.

“We wanted to put a face to those loved ones lost to an overdose,” said Debbie Warfield, whose son Spencer lost his battle with addiction in October 2012.

“We do not want another family to have to live through that devastation, so we need to focus on changing the stigma surrounding addiction and ensure science-based help is available for those currently struggling.”

In addition to bringing the community together, the event will also feature a short program hosted by Representative Strom Peterson.

The Lee and Warfield families will share their stories of loss and hope, followed by remarks from Congressman Rick Larsen, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman, and others.

“What these families have endured and witnessed is unfortunately becoming all too common in Snohomish County,” said Jefferson Ketchel, Snohomish Health District interim administrator.

“We thank the Lee and Warfield families for bringing the vigil together, and we’re honored to join our partners in supporting them for this important event.”

International Overdose Awareness Day was started in 2001, and celebrated Aug. 31 annually as a way to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.

It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or suffered permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.


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