Observed Aug. 31 every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.
It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
An overdose means having more of a drug (or combination of drugs) than your body can 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 the right amount and the right time to take your medication. It is also vital to know what drugs should not be mixed, and to seek help if you feel you are not in control of your drug use.
In 2013, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition observed: ‘With only a few provinces actively reporting overdose fatalities, it is difficult to gauge the extent of opioid related overdose deaths and injuries across Canada. What we do know is that prescription opioid related deaths have risen sharply and are estimated to be about 50 percent of annual drug deaths.’
The Prince Edward County Harm Reduction Committee suggests that this is a good time for people to remove extra or expired medications from their home. The local Committee has funded more “medication bags” that people can fill. Use the bag for expired, unused and unlabeled pills such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and natural health products. Then people should take the bag to their pharmacy for free, safe disposal.
Community Care has the bags here at our office as do many other local health service agencies.
Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. They come from all walks of life. IOAD is a global movement for understanding, compassion, and change. International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. For further information go to www.overdoseday.com
Office and Thrift Shop hours for Labour Day: Both the office and Thrift Shop are closed for Labour Day. The office opens at 9am on September 3rd and the Thrift Shop opens at 10am the same day. Meals on Wheels will go out as usual thanks to our wonderful meal suppliers and equally amazing volunteers.
Debbie MacDonald Moynes