International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
For too many of people, this is a day of grieving for those lost by the overdose epidemic. But it is also a day of hope, in recognition of the tens of thousands of lives that have been saved from overdose, and a call to further action to end the overdose crisis.
Harm Reduction Coalition affirms that we will not end the overdose crisis until we place people who use drugs, along with their families and friends, at the center of our policies and strategies. To do this we need to ensure that people who use drugs and their loved ones have access to information, tools and support, without judgement, stigma or fear of arrest.
Naloxone remains the single most powerful tool in preventing opioid overdose deaths. Naloxone is a safe medication that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. The rapid expansion of access to naloxone – by harm reduction programs, public health, drug treatment and recovery organizations, family support groups, pharmacies, Veterans Affairs medical facilities, prisons and jails, and law enforcement and first responders – represents a dramatic public health innovation responsible for saving countless lives.
Please tell everyone you know about International Overdose Awareness Day.
Help put an end to this epidemic.