Remembrance quilt workshop for families of overdose victims on Aug. 31

In observance of international overdose awareness day, Wheeler Clinic’s Connecticut Clearinghouse at 334 Farmington Ave. in Plainville will host a community Remembrance Quilt workshop event on Saturday, Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., during which the memory of those lost to substance use disorders, including opioid addiction, will be honored.

This event is part of a statewide remembrance quilt initiative, which was launched in 2017 by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to honor loved ones who have died from substance use disorders or addiction.

“This event, one of several held across Connecticut since 2017, provides an opportunity for individuals and families to come together to remember and memorialize their loved ones in a supportive and caring environment.  When displayed in the community, the remembrance quilts have been very powerful in reducing stigma and starting meaningful conversations about substance use,” said Wheeler Clinic’s vice president of prevention, wellness and recovery, Judith Stonger, in a press release. “More than 150 individuals have been memorialized through the remembrance quilt project to date.”

Participants will create a square in honor of their loved one, which will be added to statewide remembrance quilts. Supplies will be provided, however, participants may bring their own supplies as well, including a photo of their loved one, preferably on a flash drive (but not required). Wheeler staff and local community volunteers will be on hand to guide all activities and help bring ideas to fruition. No sewing or quilting experience is required. Participants also may come to the event with a pre-made square.

Squares collected at each event will be joined together by quilting groups consisting of communities of quilters who have donated their time and talent to this effort. The quilts will be displayed across Connecticut to pay tribute to those who died and help raise awareness of substance use disorders and addiction.

People may also participate by submitting completed squares to Connecticut Clearinghouse. For more information, or to learn how to create a square, visit drugfreect.org/prevention-and-intervention/memorial-quilts/submit-a-remembrance-quilt-square.

In the United States, one in four deaths is attributable to alcohol, tobacco, and illicit or prescription drug use. Data from the office of the chief medical examiner found that 1,038 people died of accidental drug overdose in Connecticut in 2017, and 1,017 individuals died in 2018.

All are welcome to the event, but should register at ctclearinghouse.com/registration or by calling (800) 232-4424.

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