Today is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) and is meant to be a time where community members gather to mourn and remember those who have been lost to drug overdose. Due to a rise in drug use spurred by the pandemic, national overdose fatalities in the United States have increased to over 70,000 annual deaths. Thankfully there are teams of researchers and toxicologists working to create new treatment methods and medications, such as naloxone for opioid overdose intervention, that can help reduce these numbers.
Overdose Numbers for Maricopa County
Taking a more local look at the community most served by America’s Rehab Campus reveals that death by overdose has increased year-over-year with opioid-related deaths being the highest spike when looking at individual drugs. In fact, opioids accounted for over 73% of overdose fatalities in 2021. The black, American Indian, and Alaskan Native demographics have been hit hardest by this worsening trend, creating an even louder call for community support on IOAD.
Even while death rates for those who abuse natural opioids have decreased by 1-2% since 2017, the death rate for synthetic opioid use has increased by over 6000% primarily due to the increased prevalence of fentanyl. Fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than heroin and is being found laced into more and more illicit drugs including marijuana which many believe to be a “safe” drug.
Another concerning trend that needs attention is the increase in overdose cases where multiple drugs are found to be the cause. Specifically, methamphetamine is now involved in over 50% of overdose deaths and is part of the 27% of cases where two drugs were combined leading to overdose. America’s Rehab Campus is working closely with the community to make treatment and therapy accessible to anyone needing help overcoming their addiction.
How To Help From Anywhere in the World
Whether your life has been impacted by addiction personally, through a loved one, or not at all, you can help spread awareness and knowledge on the subject to join the efforts in reducing overdose deaths. An example would be coordinating a candlelight vigil for your neighborhood or coworkers, with employer permission. Other ways to help those grieving can include donating to those facing financial troubles due to an overdose in the family or creating a hub where they can leave the name of their loved one or a handprint in paint or cement for a lasting tribute.
Taking a systematic approach on IOAD means researching legislation relating to overdose and drug abuse prevention and writing to your representatives to support current movements. You can also put together an educational event to help increase public awareness of overdose signs in order to quickly respond and seek medical attention.
To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day, take a minute to visit the official site. If you or a loved one is currently in need of treatment for drug addiction or is at risk of overdose, don’t hesitate to reach out to the ARC team today. We’ll work with you to ensure a safe space is there whenever needed, with treatment programs that can be customized to fit your exact needs.