By: Shannon Persad
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How to Prepare for International Overdose Awareness Day
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), 70,237 people died from a drug overdose in 2017, compared to 16,849 overdose deaths in 1999.
To bring attention to this new epidemic, International Overdose Awareness Day was born.
It began in 2001 in Australia, with the primary purpose of raising public awareness of the consequences of substance abuse. Even though it’s a day to inform those that they can prevent overdoses, it’s also a day to reflect and remember the ones who did not make it through their drug addiction.
The goals of International Overdose Awareness Day include:
- Providing a safe space for those who want to mourn the death of a loved one.
- Educating communities to take action and apply preventative measures.
- Inspiring conversations about making communities better.
- Reducing deaths related to drug abuse and overdoses.
- Promoting messages and reducing the stigma of drug abuse overdoses.
Ways to Show Support
There are various ways to show support on International Overdose Awareness Day by:
- Wearing purple: It’s the international color for this celebrated day and wearing purple clothes, wristbands, lanyards will show solidarity.
- Attend local events: More than likely, there will be events near you surrounding the concept of this day. Candlelight vigils may also be an option near you.
- Attend workshops or training sessions: Some areas tend to host free training on how to prevent an overdose and free education on substance abuse.
- Donate: If you can’t attend an event, consider donating on the official website Overdose Day.
New Jersey Area Events
If you’re in Galloway, New Jersey, there will be pharmacies giving away free Narcan on August 31st, 2019. To see a list of participating pharmacies, click here.
To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day, head over to the official website. There are also resources for free on their website, and merchandise to purchase to show your support.