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International Overdose Awareness Day's 20th Anniversary

August 31, 2020
This year marks International Overdose Awareness Day's 20th anniversary. The event, which began in Australia, is a chance to raise awareness of overdose, remember those we have lost, and call for change.
  • aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths;
  • stimulate discussion about evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy;
  • acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends whose loved-ones have died or suffered permanent injury from a drug overdose; and
  • spread the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death and that drug overdose is preventable.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the number of deaths due to opioid use disorders increased by 71% over the past decade. Additionally, the current health crisis and its effects (e.g., economic downturn, rising unemployment, isolation, etc.) may potentially result in an increase in drug use and drug trafficking to earn money in vulnerable populations.
Substance abusers don’t have to indulge on the job to have a negative impact on the workplace.  When they arrive at work, they don't leave their problems at the door. Costs to business include:
  • safety (fatalities, incidents, etc.),
  • absenteeism/sick leave/turnover or presenteeism (not fully functioning in the workplace),
  • loss of production, and
  • loss of company reputation.
Overdose is preventable and we need to spread the word to save a life. For more information and resources or to post a tribute, click HERE.
The National Safety Council also has many resources to promote mental health and prevent worker overdoses. Click HERE to learn more.