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GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — Tuesday, August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. The yearly observance began 20 years ago in Melbourne, Australia. Since then, it has become deeply personal for one Colorado mom.
Cath Adams lost her daughter Emily to an accidental fentanyl overdose on April 28, 2020. Emily was in her early 20s.
“When you lose a child, you can’t even explain it in words,” Adams explained.
Four months after Emily passed away, Adams began to plant purple flags in the group throughout Garfield, Pitkin, and Eagle Counties. Each purple flag represents an overdose death that occurred in the tri-county area since 2017. The flag-planting is the work of Adams’ company Aperture of Hope, which aims to provide resources for people and families battling with substance abuse.
“Emily suffered the disease of addiction,” Adams said. “In honor of her and in honor of everyone in our valley, we wanted to create this visual display.”