Tribute books to Leeds drug victims

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Memorial books are being opened across Leeds for those who have lost friends and family to drug overdoses.

The tributes were launched by Forward Leeds in Seacroft, Armley and the city centre on yesterday, to mark International Overdose Awareness Day.

It follows a spike in the number of “recent tragic overdose deaths” across Yorkshire.

The books will be kept in hub reception areas of Forward Leeds, the city’s drug and alcohol service.

Anna Headley, head of Forward Leeds, said: “It has been a terrible time across our region this year with a number of recent tragic overdose deaths. These have been primarily in Yorkshire and involving opiates”.

Ms Headley said International Overdose Awareness Day gave people in Leeds a chance to remember those who had died, while also raising awareness of the dangers.

She added: “This day gives us an opportunity not only to reflect on every single person we have lost but remind ourselves that these deaths are preventable.

“We will be using the day to issue advice. We’ll be doing that face-to-face, in our hubs, through social media and through our partners about overdose awareness”.

The memorial books will be kept at Forward Leeds for people to view throughout the year, and remember those that tributes have been paid to.

Forward Leeds offers training on overdose awareness to its clients and to partner organisations across Leeds.

They also issue free Naloxone kits to clients and their families and friends, which can temporarily reverse the effect of an opiate overdose.

For more information about Forward Leeds or its services, visit www.forwardleeds.co.uk.