This past August 31, an important annual event occurred. Though it may not have gotten as much publicity as we think it deserved, International Overdose Awareness Day did enter the American consciousness for a period of 24 hours. On social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, users shared their stories and hopefully some of the people in power listened.
The official hashtags of #OverdoseAwarenessDay and #EndOverdose were posted thousands of times by everyone from Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear to the U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome M. Adams.
In recognition of #OverdoseAwarenessDay here is a step by step guide to administer #naloxone if you suspect someone is suffering from an opioid overdose #getnaloxone #savealife #endoverdose pic.twitter.com/rtTZbSpVCY
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) August 31, 2018
There was also a lot of link sharing to the official webpage of the cause.
For the record, Overdose Awareness Day is now in its seventh year. The “International” component is important, because this movement was actually first initiated in Australia. Back in 2001, local Salvation Army rep Sally J. Finn created the campaign to bring attention to the thousands of OD deaths that were happening in her country. Not long after, other regions took notice and symbols like purple wristbands were created to signify its impact.
For 2018, the famed news site Vox stepped in to spread the word. Writer German Lopez published a lengthy feature on their homepage, highlighted the stats and carnage this addiction epidemic has caused.
Key points included CDC data that showed 2017 to be the worst year for drug overdoses in U.S. history. In fact, their research broke out the totals to be roughly 200 deaths per day related to the opioid crisis.
Vox’s chart below helps put a few of those things in perspective.
To their credit, the people behind Overdose Awareness Day also want their followers to be proactive and help initiate a positive change. Their site includes a wealth of resources for people who are impacted by the crisis. Whether it’s a person currently struggling and in need of recovery assistance or a family member of a lost loved one looking for grief support.
The official site also has a Tributes page, where people can read and post details about those who have lost their lives to an overdose. The video below outlines a bit of the mission…
Obviously, overdoses and the opioid crisis are things we should be aware of 365 days a year. And we are happy to do our part to continue to bring this topic to the forefront and offer immediate support.