Six things to do on International Overdose Awareness Day

The day — Aug. 31 — is used to recognize the impact of overdoses in communities and to remember those who have been lost.

Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to join the global effort to raise awareness of overdose.

Here are six ideas for how you can get involved and mark International Overdose Awareness Day. The ideas have been provided by the government of British Columbia.

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In addition to the six ideas, you can take an online pledge to end stigma. For individuals and families impacted by substance use, stigma is an ever-present reality that results in discrimination, reluctance to access treatments and supports and contributes to overdoses.

The campaign to end stigma asks people to consider the language they use when talking about someone who uses substances and use person-first and recovery-oriented language instead. For more on taking the pledge, go online to addictionmatters.ca.

Plan or attend an event

Check out International Overdose Awareness Day’s event listing in Canada to find an event near you. You could also plan your own event, such as an awareness talk, film screening or naloxone training session – and don’t forget to register your event on overdoseday.com so other people can find it and join in.

Reflect and remember

Creating a memorial to people lost to overdose can help honour their memory while raising awareness of the overdose crisis. You could create an art piece, plant a tree, light a candle — or simply take a moment to reflect and remember.

Take Naloxone training

Visit towardtheheart.com and take Naloxone training online to learn how to identify and prevent an overdose.

Download resources and materials

You can get posters, fact sheets, social media graphics and more to help promote International Overdose Awareness day online or in your community at overdoseday.com. You can also order StopOverdose BC rack cards, educational materials and more by emailing stopoverdosebc@gov.bc.ca.

Be part of the conversation online

Check out International Overdose Awareness Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and activities. Don’t forget you can join in by simply using #IOAD, #StopOverdose and #EndStigma to share personal stories, blogposts and more on social media.

Connect and have a courageous conversation

International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity to talk about substance use and overdose awareness with your friends, family and loved ones. Maybe you or someone you know are experiencing challenges. Nnow is the time to reach out. Get your friends together for a cup of tea or go for a walk with a family member. Connecting and talking with others can raise awareness and reduce the stigma that keeps substance use in the shadows, which increases the risk of overdose.

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