International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.
An overdose means having too much of a drug (or combination of drugs) for your body to be able to cope with. There are a number of signs and symptoms that show someone has overdosed, and these differ with the type of drug used. All drugs can cause an overdose, including prescription medication prescribed by a doctor. It is important to know your correct dosage, what drugs definitely should not be mixed, and know to seek help if you feel you are not in control of your drug use.
Globally, there is an estimated minimum of 190,000 – in most cases avoidable – premature deaths from drugs, the majority attributable to the use of opioids.
The United States accounts for approximately one quarter of the estimated number of drug-related deaths worldwide, including overdose deaths, which continue to rise. Mostly driven by opioids, overdose deaths in the United States more than tripled during the period 1999-2015, from 16,849 to 52,404 annually.
The goals of Overdose Day are:
- to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death; and
- to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day provides an opportunity for everyone to reflect on practical ways to prevent overdose in our community. Overdose is preventable. Knowing the real facts about drugs and what to do when you see someone experiencing an overdose DOES save lives.
For more information and resources please visit the IOAD website at http://www.overdoseday.com/.