Wangaratta Water Tower

On 31 August landmarks in our region and around the world were lit up in purple to commemorate the lives of people who have died from opioid overdose and to help increase public awareness.

Wangaratta Water Tower, Wodonga Water Tower, Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) and the Chandelier Room at Albury Entertainment Centre were all floodlit in purple for the night, in a joint effort between our Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) team, Wangaratta Rural City Council, Albury City Council and Wodonga City Council.

Opioid deaths in Australia have doubled in the past decade. Three Australians die each day from an opioid-related overdose. While some of these deaths are from illicit drugs like heroin, others are from taking legal drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl – often prescribed for pain relief.

Gateway Health and other health educators are working to raise public awareness of the dangers of opioid dependence and what to do in the event of opioid overdose. Many deaths are entirely preventable by managing the risks of dependency. And there is a medication available that can reverse an opioid overdose – Naloxone, which is available as an injection or a nasal spray.

Murray Art Museum Albury

Naloxone is available at Gateway Health for free to anyone who is likely to experience an opioid overdose and to family, friends and loved ones who are likely to witness an opioid overdose.

Our AOD team also provide education on how to use Naloxone, how to reduce the risk of overdose and how to respond to an opioid overdose.

Visit our web page High Risk of Overdose Support to find out more.

You can reach Gateway Health’s AOD team directly by email at

Images supplied by Rural City of Wangaratta, Wodonga City Council and Albury Entertainment Centre.