Today, is international Overdose Awareness Day. I have struggled to find the words to begin. A lump in the back of my throats hangs stagnant, and I almost feel defeated. Almost. Instead, I feel anger. Angry that we have to devote an entire day, to the awareness of a disease.
A disease most Americans are hesitant to call by it’s name- despite the fact that it’s insidious ways have crept into every corner of this society.
What other diseases, require an awareness day just so that it can be classified as such?
The tragedy of an overdose- an overdose eventually treated in a hospital, preventable with treatment and care and oftentimes manifested from the medical industry itself-
The tragedy of an overdose is that it is preventable.
- Supervised Safe Injection Sites
- Widespread accessibility of Naloxone
- Universal Access to affordable and effective substance use treatment
- Drastically changing the American model for Pain Management
If you are still suffering from substance use, below are five ways you can work to prevent overdose
Five Ways to Prevent an Overdose:
- Don’t use alone. If you overdose, no one can help you.
- Start with low doses. Especially if you have had a period of abstinence- after your tolerance has lowered you are at a higher risk for overdose.
- Know what you’re using. Fetenanyl test kits are available at some Harm Reduction Action Centers, and can save lives.
- Don’t mix your drugs. Drug interactions can be fatal. Don’t compound your chances by drinking or taking another kind of substance.
- Talk to your friends, family and loved ones. It can be truly scary, but talking to your family members about what an overdose looks like, and how they can help can save your life.
If you are looking for more help in recovery, look here for Hayley’s recovery services]l