Jefferson County, CO — August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, held each year to raise awareness and remember those who have lost their lives to drug overdose. It is also a day of hope in recognizing the many lives that have been saved from overdose and to end the stigma experienced by those affected.
Overdose affects people from all walks of life. In Colorado, every nine hours and 36 minutes one person dies of a drug overdose. As of June 2017, drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death nationwide for those under the age of 50.
Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) wants to remind you that overdose is preventable. Here are some actions you can take today to prevent and/or respond to an overdose:
- Get Naloxone. In Colorado, naloxone (also called Narcan, the life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication) may be obtained without a prescription from participating pharmacies and harm reduction programs. Family members and friends of individuals who use opioids for any reason are strongly encouraged to obtain naloxone and become trained in responding to overdose. To find out where to obtain naloxone in your area, visit www.StopTheClockColorado.org.
- Points West, the Syringe Service Program at JCPH, offers training on overdose prevention and response. More information can be found at www.pointswestjeffco.com or 303-239-7078.
- If you know someone who may be at risk for overdose, talk to them. Share your concerns, and learn what to do in the event of an overdose.
- If you are with someone who may be experiencing an overdose, call 9-1-1 and stay with the person until emergency medical personnel arrive.
- If you or someone you know is prescribed medication for pain management, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the potential for overdose. Ask about how to prevent, recognize and respond to an overdose.
- Safe use, storage and disposal of prescription medications starts at home. For more information and helpful tips, visit Colorado’s own http://takemedsseriously.org/.
- Show your awareness! Purple ribbons symbolize Opioid Addiction Awareness; silver ribbons are the symbol of International Overdose Awareness.
- Join the conversation locally at #EndOverdoseCO and #AdiosSobredosisCO or nationally at #EndOverdose.
For more information on International Overdose Awareness Day, or to find related activities in your area or across the globe, visit www.overdoseday.com.
Public Information Manager