International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day
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“There wasn’t any white light. I didn’t make out Jesus or see my dead family members. It was just oblivion and it was very frightening.” – Overdose Survivor

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. The goal of this worldwide event is to raise awareness about overdoses and to reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. In addition to raising the public’s awareness about this critical issue, this day also acknowledges the grief that is experienced by families and friends who have lost loved ones as a result of drug overdoses.

On International Overdose Awareness Day, community health groups, needle exchange organizations, educators, medical professionals, and policy-makers organize outreach drives, conferences, and workshops to bring more attention to the growing problem of overdose-related deaths. As part of their efforts, these groups provide the general public with information about identifying substance dependence and overdose.

The overall message that is spread on International Overdose Awareness Day is that the tragedy of overdose-related death is preventable. Every year, thousands of people who come from all walks of life die from drug overdoses.

How to Show Your Support

Silver badges and purple wristbands are worn to help raise awareness of overdose and its effects. People wear these things to symbolize the loss of someone cherished or to demonstrate support for those still grieving an overdose-related death. The message that is sent with these powerful symbols is that every person’s life is valuable and the stigma surrounding people who use drugs needs to come to an end.

Are you interested in hosting your own International Overdose Awareness Day event or activity? Is so, click here to find additional resources.

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About Dr. Greg Gale, MD

Dr. Greg Gale has been practicing and providing leadership in the field of psychiatry, substance use, and integrated care in the Phoenix metropolitan area for over 11 years. He joins us from his role as a national medical director overseeing behavioral health, substance use, and integrated care services for Humana Behavioral Health. Previously, he was CMO and VP of Clinical Services at Partners in Recovery, a not-for-profit behavioral health and substance use service organization, which operates five clinics throughout Maricopa County. Read more about Dr. Greg Gale, MD