International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.
Overdose deaths in New Hampshire continue during the pandemic. The state medical examiner’s most recent data show 416 confirmed and two possible deaths in 2020, compared to 415 the previous year. So far this year, there have been 214 confirmed or possible deaths, which is slightly lower than the year-to-date total in July 2020 but slightly higher than the July 2019 total.
An overdose means having more of a drug (or combination of drugs) than your body can handle. Overdoses often have signs and symptoms that show someone has overdosed, and these differ with the type of drug used. All drugs can cause an overdose. Prescription drugs can cause an overdose so 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.
All of us can play a role in preventing overdose deaths including opioid, alcohol, stimulant, and other overdoses.
If you are someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder reach out to the Doorway. Call 211 to connect with a Doorway near you or visit www.thedoorway.nh.gov to learn more.
It is important to learn the signs of the various types of overdoses. Check out the graphics below and visit https://www.overdoseday.com/ that detail some of the signs.
Naloxone also known as Narcan is a lifesaving drug available for free at Hope for NH Recovery, the Doorway, and other locations. Call 211 to learn more about how to obtain your free Narcan Kit. To learn the simple steps to administer Narcan check out this video from the American Medical Association (215) How to use naloxone – YouTube
Work to reduce the stigma of substance use disorder and overdose. Check out this video from the Addition Policy Forum to learn more What is Stigma? We Asked a Top Stigma Researcher. (addictionpolicy.org).
Take time to remember the lives of those we have lost. If you have lost a loved one to overdose you can post a tribute here.