August 31st Is National Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day occurs on August 31st. This addiction “holiday” is intended to highlight the prevalence of drug overdose, increase support for overdose awareness, and equip people with helpful information. If overdose is a concern, consider starting treatment at BlueCrest Recovery’s relapse prevention program by contacting our team at 888.292.9652.

A Somber Addiction Holiday

On August 31st, we honor those who have lost their lives to overdose and lend our support to those in recovery. We encourage everyone to spread the word about International Overdose Awareness Day and join us in promoting drug awareness. International Overdose Awareness Day brings to light the devastating effect that drug overdose can cause. Overdose deaths have spiked in recent years, despite the development of overdose reversal medications that can bring people back from the brink.

In the United States, drug overdose rates have risen precipitously. Rates of overdose death have continued to rise year over year since 1999. But while prescription opioids and heroin used to be the primary driver of drug overdoses, synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, and stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine, have quickly become the leading causes of overdose in the last few years.

How Overdose Rates Have Shifted

Fentanyl and its analogs are the leading cause of overdose in the United States. These powerful opioids are cheap and incredibly potent, with fentanyl being 50 to 100 times stronger than the prescription opioid morphine.

The widespread availability of fentanyl has led to exponentially more drug overdoses. Some people may not even be aware that they are taking fentanyl, as the drug is often combined with other street drugs without the user’s knowledge. Its potency makes this phenomenon especially dangerous.

At the same time, drug overdose deaths involving heroin have begun to swing in the opposite direction. This is likely due to the widespread availability of the overdose reversal medication naloxone, which can quickly stop an opioid overdose if administered in time.

While both heroin and fentanyl are opioids, the standard dose of naloxone is often insufficient to reverse a fentanyl overdose. People who overdose on fentanyl may need several doses of naloxone to reverse an overdose, and sometimes the medication won’t work.

Support for Overdose Awareness: What You Can Do

Awareness of the high risk of overdose when using illicit or prescription drugs is the first step toward preventing this catastrophic outcome. But there are other steps you can take to help people avoid overdose and have the chance to achieve recovery, such as:

  • Naloxone – If you or a loved one uses opioid drugs, keeping the medication naloxone on hand may be able to reverse an opioid overdose. Several states and non-profit organizations offer free naloxone kits to people who use opioids. Many of them even provide training on how to use this life-saving medication.
  • Fentanyl test strips – Fentanyl test strips are a simple way of testing whether an illicit substance contains fentanyl. Test strips can prevent people from accidentally taking this dangerous substance and can be valuable in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

If you or someone you love has been struggling with addiction, now is the time for help. BlueCrest Recovery offers a relapse prevention program that includes individual and group counseling, medication-assisted treatment, and long-term support for recovering from drug overdose.

Get Help for Addiction at BlueCrest Recovery

Reach out to BlueCrest Recovery at 888.292.9652 and speak to our dedicated team of addiction professionals to hear more about our extensive addiction treatment options. Overcoming addiction can be incredibly difficult on your own, but everyone can recover with the help of specialized addiction treatment services. Start your path to recovery today.

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