This week on Wednesday, August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. This global event 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.
International Overdose Awareness Day (OAD) spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. People are encouraged post a tribute on OAD’s site in remembrance of a loved one who died or was injured as a result of overdose.
OAD provides information on how to get involved by hosting a local event or a Twitter chat. People are encouraged to help build momentum for the day by posting Tweets using the hashtag #OverdoseAware2016.
A Candlelight Vigil will be held at Transitions Grateful Life Center on Wednesday, August 31st. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and lasts through 9 p.m. People are encouraged to bring a picture and story of their loved one for Transitions’ memory board. Refreshments and fellowship will follow. Transitions Grateful Life Center is located at 305 Pleasure Isle Drive, Erlanger, KY 41018.
Recent Local Overdoses
Last week, Cincinnati experienced an estimated 174 overdoses, three of them fatal. Today heroin is mixed with even more potent and powerful drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil, greatly raising the risk of death. Sometimes, even repeated doses of the antidote naloxone aren’t enough to reverse the effects of an overdose, according to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer discussing OAD and our area’s recent spike in heroin-related overdoses.
We at CEP mourn the loss of our friends and clients, and are committed to keeping the drug-injecting community alive and healthy, with the hope that people will find peace and recovery in the future.
Efforts for Local Awareness
People have been working hard to bring awareness and hope to our area. Just three years ago, People Advocating Recovery of Northern Kentucky struggled to set up a clinic in Falmouth, and began writing prescriptions for naloxone. Since then, attitudes and laws have changed to allow pharmacies to provide naloxone over the counter, without a prescription. Insurance plans are providing coverage. Police are carrying naloxone with them.
Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Health launched a campaign to promote awareness of overdose symptoms and the use of naloxone to save lives. Radio commercials, billboards and social media spread its message throughout Ohio. Go to the campaign homepage to find locations to get naloxone and learn more about overdoses, heroin, prescription painkillers and related topics.
International Overdose Awareness Day Goals
International Overdose Awareness Day’s goals are:
- To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for loved ones, some for the first time, without feeling guilt or shame.
- To include the greatest number of people in Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement of religious institutions.
- To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose.
- To send a strong message to current and former drug users that they are valued.
- To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
- To provide basic information on the range of support services that exists in the local community.
- To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
- To remind all of the risks of overdose.