image of barnstable county courthouse

Purple Flags on County Campus Honor 86 Community Members Who Died of Overdose in 2022

The theme of 2023 International Overdose Awareness Day is “Recognizing Those Who Go Unseen”. It is a powerful feeling to be recognized, acknowledged, and heard—a feeling that many of us take for granted. For people who use drugs, being overlooked or intentionally ignored is the norm. 

It is important to recognize those who struggle with drug use as valued human beings who have families, stories, dreams, and aspirations. Drug use is only one part of their identity. During the month of August, culminating on Overdose Awareness Day on August 31st, we honor our family, friends, and fellow community members who have lost their lives to overdose. We grieve alongside their loved ones and honor the importance of their life and contributions to the world. We rally together to spread the message that most overdoses are preventable. 

Getting trained in how to use Narcan and carrying it with you is just one of the many ways you can be a part of the solution. Talking about addiction and drug use can help decrease stigma and encourage people who are still using to reach out when and if they need support. Speaking the names of loved ones who have died to overdose and those who are still actively using helps them become seen in a world that tries to devalue them. 

During the month of August, Barnstable County will be sharing stories of community members whose lives were cut short from a fatal overdose on social media. To share a story of your loved one, click the link below. In addition, you can visit 86 purple flags placed on the front lawn of the superior Courthouse at 3195 Main Street (6A) in Barnstable Village. These flags represent the 86 people from our community who died by overdose in 2022. You will also find lawn signs with facts and information on overdose and Narcan spread across the County complex. 

In honor of Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, the following events will take place:

International Overdose Awareness Day 2023>>>

Attend and/or table at the International Overdose Awareness Day Vigil

August 31, 2023, at 5:30pm, Smuggler’s Beach in Yarmouth.

*Click the link above for more info. or reach out to Dawn Roche: | (508) 737-0086

Falmouth Cape Verdean Club Purple Chair Exhibit>>>

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness, the Falmouth Cape Verdean Club invites you to participate in an outdoor purple chair exhibit. *Click the link above for more information, or reach out to Desi at (617) 593-8555 or Sheila at (508) 496-4944

Additional Resources:

Overdose & Naloxone Training Resources |

Share the Story of a Loved One Who has Died from Overdose