International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 is approaching.
What do we know?
- Oceania, which includes Australia and New Zealand, has a higher than average drug mortality rate than other countries (mainly because of better reporting) . The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported around 3,000 drug related deaths occurred in 2011, up from 2,800 a year earlier.
- Deaths from opioid drugs in Australia are rising steadily. Accidental opioid drug overdoses were projected to increase 95.8% from 2007 to 2010. Source: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre University of New South Wales.
- Overdose fatalities in Victoria alone outnumber road deaths.
Every one of these deaths is a family tragedy, every one preventable. Unfortunately the issue of drug overdose does not get the public attention it so obviously warrants.
Concerned? Then consider organising or taking part in an event to help stimulate discussion. Events enable friends and family members to grieve openly and help spread awareness of the issue. If the community understands the cost of drug overdose the issue will be recognised as a priority area for our State, Territory and Federal Governments.
Each event organised around the day, no matter how modest in scale, raises awareness and can help save lives. Marking the day need not be complicated. For ideas on holding an event visit the International Overdose Awareness Day website at http://www.overdoseday.com/events/event-tips/.
Wearing the silver badge shows you support overdose prevention and remembrance. Badges can be ordered at www.overdoseday.com
Contact [email protected] if you would like any help in framing your support for International Overdose Awareness Day. Follow us on Twitter at @OverdoseDay or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InternationalOverdoseAwarenessDay