REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- You can help stop the opioid epidemic in your community. International Overdose Awareness Day is Thursday, August 31, 2017 and there are several events starting Thursday, August 24, 2017 to prevent opioid deaths in the Triad.

He says from 1999 to 2015, there were 175 unintentional medication and drug poisoning deaths and 121 unintentional prescription Opioid deaths in Rockingham County.

Pruett says Partnership for Community Care and groups around the state have been trying to fight the crisis and the stigma surrounding it.

"The big thing is education. We are trying to get down to the community to get rid of the stigma of what's causing this because it started with prescription pain killers and the transition into the illicit drugs has really ambushed our community," said Pruett. "We need to get people to see how easy it can happen to anyone out there."

Pruett says though the Governor's Task Force on Substance Abuse is making strides, there are things you can do in your own home to end the epidemic.

"Lock up your medication, your home is your castle, make it that way," said Pruett. "People will break into your house just to take your medication, you don't want that to happen. You don't need that out on the street. And educate your children."

It's in the circle at the Rockingham County Government Center located at 371 Hwy 65 in Reidsville.

If you can't make the event in Rockingham County, there's one in Guilford County on Thursday, August 31, 2017 that you can take part in. It's from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Oak Hollow Mall near the High Point University Community Entrance. The address is 1020 Eastchester Drive in High Point. The event is free and open to the public and features food, games, resources and more. The last hour will consists of a candlelight vigil and balloon release.

For more information, contact Jeff Pruett at 336-994-3264 or Calandra Lewis at 336-333-6860.