International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It’s an opportunity to remember loved ones lost to overdose. Overdose death is preventable and more must be done to save lives. It happens to people from all walks of life.
Overdoses are on the rise in Manitoba as drug availability is impacted by COVID-19. Now, more than ever, people who use drugs need access to safer supplies including drugs.
If you or someone you know uses drugs it can help to
- Keep a naloxone kit around. They are free from the Street Connections office on Hargrave and many community health centres around Manitoba.
- Know the signs of an overdose.
- Learn how to put someone into the recovery position
- Learn about the drugs you plan to use. Remember without a safe supply what you think you’re taking may contain other things. Knowing your dealer can help ask questions and it’s another good reason to carry a naloxone kit just in case.
- Know the law and your rights when it comes to using or carrying drugs.
- If you think someone is overdosing call 911. In Canada, we have Good Samaritan laws. This means that paramedics focus on getting someone help and ignore most other activities going on including breach of conditions and drug possession.