International Overdose Awareness Day with the Aaron Short Awareness Association


International Overdose Awareness Day

Is on the 31st of August every year. In this episode, hear audio from an IOAD event held in Richmond for the Aaron Short Awareness Association (ASAA Inc) in collaboration with the Yarra Drug and Health Forum, APOD Family Services and Harm Reduction Victoria.

International Overdose Awareness Day 2019 at Richmond Town Hall

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Originating in Melbourne 2001, the day acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends by remembering those we have lost, or those who have sustained a permanent injury as the result of drug overdose. Our minds immediately go to illegal drugs when discussing overdose, however alcohol and prescription medication are two of our biggest killers.In honour of loved ones lost and dearly missed, our aim is to raise awareness and reduce stigma within our communities around this significant health issue.

Read the Vancouver safe supply statement

“Vancouver is in a state of emergency. People are dying every day from an unregulated, contaminated drug supply – these are preventable deaths. People have been dying for many years as a result of the toxic drug supply, and following a drastic spike in deaths in April 2016, a provincial public health emergency was finally declared.

Since that time thousands of people have lost their lives to a drug supply poisoned with Fentanyl; a cheap and synthetic opioid detected in the majority of overdose deaths. To date, drug testing has indicated further contaminants such as Carfentanil and benzodiazepines, making it more difficult and complex to reverse overdoses.

We often hear this crisis referred to as an overdose crisis, but really, we are in a drug poisoning crisis. One of the primary causes of overdose is the contamination of the illicit drug supply, and we believe that future deaths could be prevented if people could access a regulated safe supply.

Drug poisoning is affecting many different people who use different substances for different reasons. It is affecting people who use opioids, people who use stimulants, people who use regularly, and people who use occasionally. People from all walks of life are affected; we are all in this together.

Urgent action is required on multiple levels to prevent further deaths from drug poisoning. This includes advocating for a safe supply as well as supporting people in their chosen paths to wellness. We call upon health professionals, all levels of governments, and the public to join us in advocating for a safe supply of drugs, to protect and prevent further loss of our family members, friends, neighbours and loved ones.”




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