International Overdose Awareness Day
Annually, August 31 is known as International Overdose Awareness Day, a day that we pause to remember those who have died from an overdose and with their loved ones we share in their grief. Also, we recognize the many people who continue to live with the stigma associated with having family or friends die from an overdose.
According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in their 2021 World Drug Report, approximately 62 million people (or 1.2% of the global population) used opioids for non-medical purposes in 2019. Additionally, over 100,000 people in the U.S. died from opioid overdoses in the in the 12 months ending in March 2022. This was a pre-existing crisis that was tragically exacerbated by the global pandemic.
Many people know of someone who lost their life due to overdose or who continues to struggle with addiction. This day of awareness and remembrance reminds all of us to take the opportunity to educate others about opioid overdose and to reflect upon the tremendous loss of lives without the fear of stigmatization.
Please see resources
Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit - from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Preventing opioid overdose deaths with take home naloxone – European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
Opioid Overdose World Health Organization (WHO)
World Drug Report 2021 - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Opioids – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)