BRISTOL-- The city of Bristol held its second farmer’s market recognized International Overdose Day Saturday.
From the music, market and vendors, Bristol made it a mission to address the pressing community issue.
“So in the town or city of Bristol has quite a large population of opioid users you know at Wheeler Clinic we see new people every day,” said Director of Outpatient Service for Wheeler Clinic Courtney Pope.
Pope said the goal in Saturday’s booth at the farmer’s market is to get rid of the stigma and usher in healing.
“I think people are hesitant to get treatment because of the stigma, if we can eliminate that I think we would have a much better chance at lowering overdoses, lowering new addiction rates,” said Pope.
The farmer’s market has been gone for years, but was recently brought back with the current mayor’s administration and local farmers say they are excited for the support.
“Without the community we don’t exist, farms don’t exist, we need the community to come out because our season is so short and we only have a few months in the year to make money," said Jordan Tonn, who runs Tonn’s Orchards.
Beyond the fresh produce, a few vendors stood out, as International Overdose Day was promoted and resources were shared.
“Talking about it, I think talking about it is probably the number one thing we can do… encouragement, offering words of hope I think you know a lot people don’t necessarily how to react when a loved one says I’m addicted to opiates,” said Pope.
In Connecticut, the state’s chief medical examiner says the number of fatal overdoses is expected to increase by 7-percent from last year. That would be a record number of deaths.
In Bristol, officials say they are working to buck that trend. Make sure that doesn’t happen here.
“There is a national opioid problem nationwide, but in the town of Bristol we have dialed down on the number of prescriptions drugs prescriptions that haven't been written," Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. "We have dialed down on some of the illicit street use as well as the fact that people that have migrated from pills into heroin based on the availability and the fact that it’s cheaper than trying to shop around for pills, we are committed to having recovery path for all Bristol families."