Every year on Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day brings a grim reminder of the vast toll exacted by drug overdose deaths and injuries. It is no secret that overdose deaths have increased sharply during the past three years alone. We mourn the friends we’ve lost and take time to remember the lives they lived.
But Overdose Awareness Day can also be a day of hope. Overdoses are preventable, especially with access to evidence-based care and preventive tools, including the vital medication naloxone. Researchers, health care professionals, social workers and even some legislators are increasingly committed to formulating and advancing practices that can combat overdose deaths.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released some guidelines anyone — not just doctors and addiction specialists — can follow to raise overdose awareness, and potentially even save lives, in their own communities.
- Learn about naloxone, a lifesaving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered in time.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a naloxone prescription or get naloxone from local organizations if you or a loved one uses illicit drugs, has substance use disorder, takes high-dose prescription opioids, or has other risk factors for opioid overdose.
- Read and share resources about overdose prevention and raise awareness about the communities that are disproportionately impacted by overdose.
- Learn more about reducing stigma, which can be a major barrier to getting help.
All Sober has more resources for those who want to educate themselves on overdose prevention, harm reduction, naloxone, and why it’s important to end the stigma surrounding addiction and recovery:
- Answers to Common Questions About Drugs, Addiction and Where to Get Help
- Need Help Now? Helpful Hotlines To Keep Handy
- What Are Opioids?
- Tools To Know: The Basics of Vivitrol, aka Naltrexone
- Naloxone Facts: Medication for Suspected Opioid Overdose
- ADDICTIONary: How To Reduce the Stigma When Talking About Addiction
- Your Guide to Harm Reduction, With John Oliver
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