International Overdose Awareness Day

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International Overdose Awareness Day

Today, August 31st, is International Overdose Awareness Day. Since 2001, this day honors those that we have lost due to an overdose and raises awareness of the overdose epidemic. Each year, thousands of people recognize this day by participating in events or wearing ribbons or badges to offer condolences.

According to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there were over 183,000 drug-related deaths in 2012. A majority of these deaths were overdoses. These deaths occurred in countries all over the world, proving that addiction is an international problem.

A main aspect of Overdose Awareness Day is letting the public know that overdoses are preventable. It is important to be able to recognize an overdose is occurring in order to get the person help. Some signs of an overdose include:

  • Seizures
  • Irregular or slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute)
  • Pale skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Unconsciousness

If you suspect someone is overdosing, don’t be afraid to call for help. The sooner the person gets treatment, the less likely they will have permanent brain damage.

You can do many things to recognize Overdose Awareness Day. You can attend a local event, wear a ribbon in honor of others or wear the color silver.