Somerville/Medford Remembering Somerville Commemorating Annual International Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Month

City Memorializing Community Members Lost to Opioid Overdoses on August 31. Awareness and Narcan Distribution Events Will Take Place in September

SOMERVILLE – Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the City of Somerville’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) invite the community to join in recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2023. Somerville Prevention is also hosting several awareness events throughout the month of September, which has been designated National Recovery Month to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and addiction recovery practices.

In 2022, the Somerville community lost 22 residents due to opioid-related overdose. To commemorate our friends, neighbors, and loved ones who passed away, City of Somerville will place 22 purple flags on the front lawn of City Hall on August 31. One larger flag will also be displayed, representing all Somervillians who have been lost to an opioid-related overdose in the past. City Hall will also be illuminated purple in recognition of National Recovery Month. The flag and light displays will be viewable for the entire month of September.

Community members interested in learning more about overdose prevention are also invited to join Somerville Prevention for a virtual Overdose Prevention and Narcan Administration training on September 5 from 3 to 4 p.m. Follow this link to attend: The training will teach attendees how to prevent, recognize, and respond to an opioid-related overdose.

In addition, Somerville Prevention staff will also host three Narcan Distribution Events to distribute free overdose prevention information and harm reduction materials, including Narcan, Fentanyl test strips, CPR face shields, and syringe disposal boxes.

The events are currently scheduled for:

Thursday, August 31
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)
Thursday, September 14
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
East Somerville (165 Broadway)
Thursday, September 28
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Davis Square, Statue Park

Through September, community members are also encouraged to wear or display the color purple to help raise awareness of the national opioid epidemic. Examples of ways to show support include wearing a purple ribbon or purple clothing, hanging a purple flag or ribbon, or installing a purple light bulb in a porch light or in a lamp visible from a window.

For more information, please contact Prevention Services Manager Matthew Mitchell at and be sure to follow Somerville Prevention on Instagram: @somervilleprevention.

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