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Ahead of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, the Addiction Policy Forum released an Overdose Awareness Toolkit for the public last week. Signified by silver badges and purple wristbands or lanyards, International Overdose Awareness Day began in 2001 and takes place annually. Organizers seek to promote awareness and challenge stigmas surrounding drug overdoses.2 More recently, the US is at the height of its own opioid crisis, which has evolved over the course of more than a century.3
According to the Addiction Policy Forum, experiencing a nonfatal overdose may put users at an increased risk for fatal overdoses. There were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017, approximately 47,000 of which were opioid-related.4 With a mortality rate of approximately 192 people each day, citizens must be aware of the signs of an overdose and know what to do in the event of one.
Recently, naloxone has become more readily available to combat overdoses and related mortalities. The toolkit offers information on naloxone and its administration, perspective on local and federal policies, and more general resources for overdose awareness and care.3 You can join the effort during this year's International Overdose Awareness day by spreading awareness about addiction and the toolkit.
1. International Overdose Awareness Day. History. 2019. www.overdoseday.com/about-us/history.
2. International Overdose Awareness Day. 2019. www.overdoseday.com.
3. Morland R. Evolution of the national opioid crisis. Nursing2019. 2019;49(5):51-56.
4. Addiction Policy Forum. Overdose Awareness. 2019. www.addictionpolicy.org/overdose-awareness.