International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31st, observed annually to recognize the prevalence of overdose deaths. The LeFlore County Coalition for Healthy Living encourages this day to be one of remembrance, education, and hope. This day is used to educate the public about drug overdose, remember the lives of people lost to drug overdoses, reduce stigma surrounding drug-related deaths, and promote actionable prevention efforts.
Drug addictions do not discriminate, and overdoses can affect people from all backgrounds, in every part of the world. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent Annual Drug Report, nearly half a million people around the world died as a result of drug use in 2019. Data from the Oklahoma State Department, Injury Prevention Services, reveals that between the years of 2016 - 2020 there were more than 3,300 Oklahomans who died of an unintentional drug overdose, and 38 of these deaths occurred in LeFlore County.
Longtime coalition member, Robbie Mullens, who is the director of the Southeast Oklahoma Community Based Prevention Services, says, “Overdose and overdose deaths are preventable with preparedness, education, and community care.”
International Overdose Awareness Day is a “Time to Remember, Time to Act.
- Educate yourself about drug overdose
- Share helpful overdose information on social media
- Know and recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose
- Carry Naloxone
- Help find treatment or care for someone who is struggling with substance use disorder
The LeFlore County Coalition for Healthy Living is working to develop and sustain a progressive safe, healthy, and fun community and all community members are encouraged and welcome to become more involved. The coalition meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 11:30 am at Carl Albert State College, Costner- Balentine Student Center, 2nd Floor. To stay informed on coalition initiatives and activities, like and follow the LeFlore County Coalition for Healthy Living Facebook page @LCCOHL
For more information on International Overdose Awareness Day, visit www.overdoseday.com, or contact Southeast Oklahoma Community Based Prevention Services, a partnership of Valliant Public Schools, funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.