Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. The event is held each year on August 31, one day ahead of National Recovery Month. The mission of Overdose Awareness Day is to “raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death.”
Substance Use Disorder and drug overdose deaths are prominent in communities across the United States. It is estimated that as many as 20.2 million people in the US live with a SUD. In 2018, 63,376 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States.
In a video posted today, Baltimore City Council President and Mayoral Nominee Brandon Scott said that “we have to uplift and understand how serious this issue is… We have to humanize those who struggle with substance abuse and stop allowing people to put them down and treat them in a different manner… Everyone in Baltimore knows someone that is struggling from substance abuse. They are our family members; they are our friends.”
His sentiment not only holds true in Baltimore, but in communities around the globe. Started by Sally J Finn at The Salvation Army in St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia in 2001, Overdose Awareness Day has since become a global event. It includes activities and campaigns to inform communities about drug-related deaths.
Examples include The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland hosting a virtual flag-raising in Baltimore, RecoveryYdia in Derry New Hampshire hosting a 10,000 Candles live Facebook stream, and students, faculty and staff from the Atlanta Technical College wearing purple and posting images on its Institutional Student Life Facebook page.
Amatus Recovery Centers COO Michael Silberman believes that with knowledge about drug addiction, communities can not only overcome the stigma surrounding drug overdose deaths, but employ tools to prevent addiction in the first place.
“It has always been a goal of Amatus Health to educate families and communities about substance use disorder in an attempt to curb the tragic amount of lives lost to drug overdoses,” he said. “By building knowledge around and de-stigmatizing this issue, individuals who need it will be more inclined to get help and enter recovery.”
If you or a loved one are living with a Substance Use Disorder, there is help. At Amatus Recovery Centers across the country, we offer the full continuum of addiction-related care, from medical detox to ongoing outpatient therapy. To learn which level of care is right for you, speak with an Admissions Specialist today at (410) 593-0005.
Addiction is treatable, and Recovery is possible.