August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), a global event that addresses the widespread and growing impact that drug overdose has had, and continues to have, on our communities at large.
In the year 2022, the state of Oregon alone lost 1,387 people to drug overdose. That’s an average of 3.8 deaths per day, a more than two-fold increase in just three years.
This year for International Overdose Awareness Day, Adapt Integrated Health Care, Douglas Public Health Network, and HIV Alliance welcome one and all to a special community event where we will honor the memories of those lost to overdose, as well as recognize the grief of friends and family left behind. From 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 621 Madrone Street in Roseburg, partners will be spreading awareness, providing support, and sharing local prevention, treatment, and recovery resources with community members.
International Overdose Awareness Day’s unifying theme is: “A Time to Remember; A Time to Act.” Many grieve only in private, but one of IOAD’s goals is to provide an opportunity for those who have experienced overdose-related trauma firsthand a “Time to Remember”, by sharing their mourning and honoring the memory of someone they’ve lost, in a safe and inclusive public environment.
Because International Overdose Awareness Day is also “A Time to Act” to reduce future losses, free and effective harm-reduction resources will be available, including the life-saving opioid overdose reversal agent, Naloxone. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a key pillar in overdose prevention. It is a practical and powerful medical tool with few side effects that saves thousands of Oregon lives each year.
Participating in International Overdose Awareness Day remembrance might include listening to another attendee’s story, sharing your own, participating in a Naloxone training, or contributing to an art project intended to commemorate lives lost to overdose. Whatever it may be, your participation will help Adapt, Douglas County, and the world spread a message of hope, love, and support for individuals and communities impacted by drug overdose.
For more information about International Overdose Awareness Day, visit overdoseday.com. To connect with Adapt Integrated Health Care about medication-assisted treatment for opioid use, overdose prevention resources, counseling, or recovery support, please call: (541) 673-2770.