International Overdose Awareness Day – A Day of Reflection and Action
August 31st marks International Overdose Awareness Day (IAOD), a day that signifies lives profoundly affected by the global overdose epidemic.
The data for July 2023 stands as a stark reminder: 278 suspected drug-related deaths in Ontario. Each one representing families, friends, and communities grappling with loss.
Harm reduction, an approach endorsed by global health authorities such as Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, UNAIDS and WHO, is an evidence-based strategy for addressing this crisis.
This methodology prioritizes providing tools and knowledge to people who use substances, enabling them to make informed and safer decisions.
It’s essential to understand that harm reduction does not advocate for drug use but instead focuses on safety and minimizing risk.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, reach out to our Mental Health First Response Team. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week (including weekends and holidays), the Mental Health First Response is available to anyone in Lambton County and Kent County who is experiencing mental health problems or crises. Service includes telephone crisis intervention (mental health status assessment, suicide intervention), referrals, and family support (information regarding options for assisting a loved one in mental health crisis).
Mental Health First Response Phone Numbers: Chatham Kent 1-866-299-7447 or Sarnia Lambton 1-800-307-4319.
Interested in a deeper understanding, or want to spread the word? You can:
- Like and share CMHA Lambton Kent posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to help explain harm reduction to your friends and family.
- Discover more about CMHA Ontario’s commitment to Harm Reduction.
- Explore community initiatives for IAOD 2023 or lend your voice to petitions at overdoseday.com
- Looking for events near you? Moms Stop the Harm is curating a list of nationwide activities. Join in and make a difference.
This International Overdose Awareness Day, commit to reduce harm and help CMHA Lambton Kent pave the way to understanding, compassion, and change.