Thousands of people die each year from drug overdoses. In the United States, drug overdose deaths rose again in 2019, according to new preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July 2020. The CDC predicts the final count for 2019 will be close to 72,000 overdose deaths, an increase of over 4,000 from 2018.
Addiction is a disease that affects people from all walks of life, regardless of ethnic background, professional status, appearance, gender identity, or personality. An addicted person could easily be a loved one, friend, neighbor, or colleague.
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on the last day of August each year. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died and those whose overdoses resulted in permanent injury.
The message the International Overdose Awareness Day conveys is simple: the tragedy of death by overdose is preventable and more must be done to save lives. This year’s motto is, “Time to Remember. Time to Act.”
There are a variety of signs and symptoms that indicate someone has overdosed. These differ with the type of drug used. All drugs can cause overdose, including medication prescribed by a doctor. It is vital to know which drugs should not be mixed and to seek help immediately if you feel you are not in control of your medication or drug use.
There are many ways you can participate in International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 and throughout the year.
You can hold an activity or event in your community. By bringing people together, even if it’s just a few friends, you can help cultivate change and spread awareness. Check out the Event and Activity Organisers’ Support Kit for tips on running your own event.
Post a Tribute: Remembering those who have died or who have suffered permanent injury due to overdose is a vital part of International Overdose Awareness Day.
Get Social: Follow International Overdose Awareness Day on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and engage with the online community! You may use the hashtag #OverdoseAware or #EndOverdose with your posts to help build momentum for the day and spread awareness.
Find more information at overdoseday.com.