An overdose is one of the main causes of deaths among people who use drugs and opioids are the main drug responsible for these deaths. UNODC estimates that in 2013 there were 187,100 drug-related deaths worldwide and many of them are attributed to overdose. Non-fatal overdoses and the associated morbidity are very common as well, but limited efforts are made to reduce the overdose rate despite the fact that deaths are preventable.
Easy measures can be taken to prevent and manage overdose cases. Naloxone is an effective antidote to opioid overdose if administered timely. It can be delivered intravenously, intramuscularly or using intranasal rout and this can be done by non-medical person. Overdose management training and provision of nalaxone to people who are likely to witness an opioid overdose such as peers, friends or family members could substantially contribute to the reduction of deaths from opioid overdose. This approach is recommended by World Health organisation as well as promotion in countries where it does not exist.
Alliance Practice Centre on HIV, Hepatitis C and Drug Use reminds about the Overdose Awareness Day. International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) conducted globally on August 31st tries to raise awareness of overdose, reduce stigma of a drug-related death and remember those who died of overdose through sharing the message that overdose is preventable.
You can find a lot of information about the IOAD at www.overdoseday.com.au including:
- A range of downloadable assets www.overdoseday.com/resources/downloadable-resources/
- Details on the wide range of overdose day events held globally www.overdoseday.com/get-involved/eventsfeed/
- Silver badges that are available for purchase via the website www.overdoseday.com/wear-silver/.
- Tributes at www.overdoseday.com/tributes/.
If you want to be a part of this global event, please:
- Join social media accounts Facebook (www.facebook.com/InternationalOverdoseAwarenessDay) and Twitter (twitter.com/overdoseday)
- Submit any events that you are doing through the site.
- Order silver badges. Please, consider doing this in advance.
- Encourage your stakeholders to post tributes on the site.
 UNODC (2015), World Drug Report 2015. Available at: www.unodc.org/documents/wdr2015/World_Drug_Report_2015.pdf