Overdose Awareness Day 31st August 2017

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The South East Family Support Network is marking International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 and invites you to join us.

Overdose Awareness Day has been a key remembrance event for those who have died from fatal drug overdoses since 2001. On August 31 thousands of people worldwide will stand alongside the friends and families of fatal overdose victims to reflect on those who have been lost. The event is organised on the understanding that no-one need feel shame or disgrace over a drug overdose.

Overdose Awareness Day offers all who have been affected by overdose a chance to publicly mourn and help the wider community understand that fatal overdose profoundly affects mainstream society. The day aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths whilst allowing us to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends. The day is about remembering those who have lost loved ones or suffered permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. It aims to spread the message that the tragedy of overdose death and injury is preventable; the theme for 2017 is Time to Remember, Time to Act.

The day also serves as a warning that not only illicit drugs can be dangerous and no-one is immune to overdose. With the number of fatalities from prescription drugs growing August 31 is also a chance to see that medicines are not always our friends. Painkillers and other pharmacy drugs play an important medical role but their careless use can have tragic long-term consequences.

In 2014 nationally, there were 697 deaths (poisoning and non poisoning combined), similar to the number reported in 2013 (n=698): · Median age for all deaths in 2014 was 39 years and 75% (n=523) of all deaths were male. In the south there were 61 drug related deaths in 2014 (source HRB, Drug Related Deaths Index)

In 2014, the World Health Organisation recommended that countries expand naloxone access (opioid antidote) to people likely to witness an overdose in their community, such as friends, family members, partners of people who use drugs, and social workers.  In most countries, naloxone is accessible only through hospitals and ambulance crews.   In 2015 the HSE followed that WHO recommendation with the development of a demonstration project to introduce Naloxone into local communities.

The South East Family Support Network is promoting awareness of naloxone and are providing training for family members in administering the opioid antidote as a way of

saving lives. 

Support for families & communities 

South East Family Support Network 051 312010/086 6045805


You can help raise awareness in your community by displaying the posters available




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