International Overdose Awareness Day

2 October 2017 Posted by

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

Taking its key themes as prevention and remembrance, its goals are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for loved ones, some for the first time, without feeling guilt or shame.
  • To include the greatest number of people in Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement.
  • To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non- fatal overdose.
  • To send a strong message to current and former drug users that they are valued.
  • To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that exists in the local community.
  • To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
  • To remind all of the risks of overdose.

On 31 August 2017 the Cornwall Drug and Alcohol Action Team and Addaction (drug and alcohol treatment service) held an event on Lemon Quay, Truro to take these key themes to the public. The event ran from 9:00am to 4:30pm and consisted of staff from Addaction and DAAT engaging with as many people as possible. This included handing out information leaflets/posters, giving a range of advice and first aid training including ‘hands on’ resuscitation practice.

With 32 people dying in Cornwall in 2016 from a drug related death and many more dying from alcohol and prescription medicine abuse, this was an opportunity to talk about the many complexities surrounding drug and alcohol use.

A wide cross section of people engaged with the team including those who needed treatment, those seeking treatment for others, wider education issues and children wishing to learn first aid skills- the first aiders of the future!

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About the Author

Simon, Research & Information Officer, Amethyst, Community Safety Team

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