International Overdose Awareness Day focuses on Prevention and Remembrance

FNHA-Health-Protection-Nurse-with-THN-Kit.jpgInternational Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of drug overdose and to reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.

In 2014, BC experienced 355 deaths due to overdose and this number is on the rise. The majority of deaths involved opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, and methadone. 

Supporting People who use Drugs and Prescription Opioids

Unfortunately people who use drugs often continue to face stigma and discrimination in our communities.  This serves to push drug use further underground making it less safe and less likely for people who use drugs to reach out.

Overdose Awareness Day encourages each of us to reach out and connect with the people we know who are actively using drugs or taking prescription opioids to ensure they have the tools and information they need to prevent overdose and use opioids as safely as possible. 

Remembering Loved Ones

Overdose Awareness Day acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or have been permanently injured as a result of drug overdose. The event's website hosts tributes to loved ones that have been affected by drug overdose. One way we can honor our loved ones is by learning about how to prevent overdose ourselves.

Overdose Death is Preventable

The tragedy of overdose death can be prevented. Naloxone is an antidote to opioid overdoses. It's a safe, prescription-only medication that reverses the effects of opioids on the body. In the event of an overdose, naloxone restores normal breathing within 2-5 minutes.

Intervention is available for BC First Nations

The BC Take Home Naloxone Kit is used at hundreds of participating harm reduction sites across BC. The Kit can be used by anyone in the community that has received Take Home Naloxone Training.

The FNHA is working to increase the number of First Nations communities that have the life-saving Take Home Naloxone kits on site, as well as trained personnel and community members.

Take Home Naloxone training is available for all Health Centres in First Nations communities. Community members can also access harm reduction sites outside their communities to receive harm reduction supplies. Find a harm reduction site that offers Take Home Naloxone Training here

Wear silver on August 31 to raise awareness of drug overdose and to show your support.

Find out more about International Overdose Awareness Day:

Learn more about Take Home Naloxone Kits:

Learn about Fentanyl Overdose: