Overdose Awareness Day

Date: 31 August 2010

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OD Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day on 31st August, was first started by the Salvation Army in Australia back in 2001.

Harm Reduction International has recently revamped its '50 Best Collections' and the collection on overdose is now available under the publications section of Harm Reduction International site. This collection brings together documents that provide the best information on overdose and overdose prevention.

Overdose is a risk when using many psychoactive drugs – but is much more common for some drugs (such as opioids) than others (such as cannabis and nicotine). It is especially common for people who use combinations of substances, and those who inject drugs. This collection focuses predominantly on illicit drug use, as this is the area in which overdose prevention efforts have concentrated. In many ways, overdose prevention is a quintessential harm reduction approach. Research indicates that overdose is a familiar issue for people who inject drugs, with many studies finding high levels of self-reported non-fatal overdoses or witnessed overdoses. Crucially, overdose is a fundamentally preventable harm. For opioid overdoses in particular, a ‘cure’ exists in ‘Naloxone’ – yet this is a shamefully underused intervention around the world given its potential to save lives.

To view the 'Overdose 50 Best Collection' please click here.

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) annually recognises 31st August as Overdose Awareness Day, and this year a letter was sent out in collaboration with the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG), appealing to UN agencies including the United Nations Office on Drugs Crime and World Health Organisation to ask that Naloxone (the medicine used to avert drug overdose) be made more widely available. 

Please click here to view the letter sent out on 30th August 2010.

Please click here to view the latest edition of EHRN's publication "Why Overdose Matters for HIV". For more information on the work that EHRN does on overdose prevention please click here.

The European Harm Reduction Network (EuroHRN) also released a special edition of its newsletter focused on overdose. To view this newsletter please click here.

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