Nine events are scheduled throughout New Jersey on Wednesday to honor the lives lost to drugs and assist those who are still battling with addiction.

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Every Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. Memorial walks, moments of silence and candlelight vigils will dot the globe from Canada to New Zealand.

The cause is meant to reduce the stigma of drug-related death and acknowledge the grief felt by affected families and friends.

"We need people to come together because the epidemic is just so out of hand," said Donna Catlow, chapter lead of Young People in Recovery-Ocean County. "The more we can get the word out there, the more people see what's going on and hopefully we can end the stigma because the stigma is so bad that it just deters people from getting help."

Catlow's group is hosting the event scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lacey Municipal Building. Scheduled to speak are former addicts, those who've lost loved ones to an overdose and local officials.

About 21 resource tables will be on hand for visitors, featuring services related to addiction and recovery. The night will wrap up with a candlelight vigil.

International Overdose Awareness Day originated in Australia in 2001.

New Jersey events:

Old Bridge - 5 to 8 p.m., Old Bridge Municipal Complex

Clinton - 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., On the terrace next to the museum (7 Lower Center St.)

Forked River - 6 to 9 p.m., Lacey Municipal Building

South Amboy - 5 to 8 p.m., South Amboy Senior Center

Ventnor - 6:30 to 8 p.m., On the beach between Suffolk & Somerset Avenues

Morristown - 1 to 3 p.m., "On the green"

Flemington - 4 to 6 p.m., Historic Hunterdon County Court House

Sewell - 7:30 p.m. start, James G. Atkinson Millennium Plaza

Berlin - 1 to 6 p.m., The Vault at Victor Records

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