Get Treatment supports International Overdose Awareness Day – a global event that takes place on August 31st aimed at raising awareness combat the stigma of drug overdose-related death. This day is also used as a day of remembrance and acknowledgement of the grief endured by family members and friends of those who have passed or suffered permanent injury because of a drug overdose.
Overdose Day is designed to help spread the message that drug overdose deaths are preventable. There is an estimated minimum of 190,000 premature drug overdose deaths – most of which are caused by opioids and are, in most cases, avoidable.
More than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, the largest amount ever recorded. In fact, the United States represents about one quarter of all drug-related deaths worldwide. Overdose deaths, particularly those related to opioids continue to rise, with the total number tripling from 1999 to 2015.
In 2015, opioids, including both illegal ones like heroin and prescription painkillers, killed more than 33,000, according to the CDC. From 2014 to 2015, many states saw a significant increase in drug overdose deaths. The five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths were:
- West Virginia (41.5 per 100,000)
- New Hampshire (34.3 per 100,000)
- Kentucky (29.9 per 100,000)
- Ohio (29.9 per 100,000)
- Rhode Island (28.2 per 100,000)
According to government data, deaths from heroin rose 23 percent in one year, and deaths caused by synthetic opioids, like illicit fentanyl, rose 73 percent. Prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin were involved in almost half all opioid overdose deaths in 2015.
Drug overdose deaths now kill more people in the United States than gun violence and car crashes.
The silver badge and purple wristband symbolize awareness of an overdose and its effects. These are worn to symbolize the loss of someone dear to you or show support for those dealing with grief. According to the organization, wearing these articles sends a message. “That message is that the infinite value of each human being nullifies presumption, prejudice and stigma towards people who use drugs.”
Another way to show support or to share with others who are grieving like you is to attend a local event. Hundreds of International Overdose Awareness Day events are being held across the world. In the United States, 276 events are being held to remember the lives of those lost, raise awareness, and provide support for those who are grieving the loss of a friend or loved one.
You can also show your support by tagging any social media posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #endoverdose.
Drug addiction affects people from all walks of life; it does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender or socio-economic status.
Do You Know the Signs of an Overdose?
Severe difficulty breathing, shallow breathing
Gurgling noises that indicate the airway is blocked
Blue fingers or lips
Nausea or vomiting
Very high body temperature
Violent or aggressive behavior
Confusion or disorientation
It’s important to seek immediate medical attention should a person begin experiencing any combination of these symptoms. Make sure to stay with the person until help arrives and provide any first aid should the person be unresponsive.
If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, has experienced an overdose, or has relapsed, the professionals at Get Treatment can help. We are dedicated to providing quality care and support for addiction treatment. Contact us today at 855-638-9268, and get the help you deserve.