Gov. Little to speak at overdose awareness event on Capitol steps

DHW Communications

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will host an event at the Idaho Capitol front steps to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day. The event will start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little will kick things off with a proclamation signing ceremony and remarks about the overdose epidemic in Idaho.

Additional speakers will include Dr. Alicia Carrasco from the Boise VA Medical Center, Kaitlin Fledderjohann from Boise Drug Court, and Amy McKenzie from Trivium Life Services. The full event agenda is below.

International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to raise awareness about overdoses, remember those who have died, and provide space for loved ones to grieve.

As part of Wednesday’s event, 353 chairs will be placed on the Capitol steps. Each empty chair will represent an Idaho resident who died from a drug overdose in 2021.


  • Welcome and opening remarks: Dr. Palina Louangketh, DHW Division of Public Health
  • Introduction of Idaho Gov. Brad Little: Marianne King, Office of Drug Policy
  • Overdose Awareness Day proclamation signing ceremony and remarks: Gov. Brad Little
  • What Can Healthcare Providers Do to Reduce Overdose? Dr. Alicia Carrasco, Boise VA Medical Center
  • Resilience in Recovery: Personal Experiences in Substance Use and Recovery, Kaitlin Fledderjohann, Boise Drug Court
  • How Can We Support Loved Ones in Their Grief? Amy McKenzie, Trivium Life Services
  • Looking forward and wrapping up. Sarah Buchanan, Division of Public Health

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at