Local communities in Ontario and around the world are coming together to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose.
On August 31st this year, in honour of International Overdose Awareness Day, Gateway Community Health Centre will be making Naloxone kits and training available to any community member. We encourage these kits to be carried by anyone who uses opioids, knows someone who uses opioids, or is in a place to offer aid to someone who is experiencing an overdose.
Opioid use rates in Ontario have jumped in the last five years, resulting in 2460 deaths in 2020, and 17,052 emergency room visits and 2,405 hospitalizations in 2021.
“Gateway Community Health Centre is encouraging community members to familiarize themselves with the signs of an overdose, how to respond, and pick up a Naloxone kit at our offices available as of today”, stated Mayo Hawco, Executive Director.
Observed on the 31st of August every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.
Other local events taking place on IOAD include a gathering at Market Square in Belleville from 2:30 to 4:00 hosted by Addictions and Mental Health Services of Hastings Prince Edward. There will also be a live streaming event in Bancroft in the Post Office Parking Lot.
This program is provided with the support of Addictions and Mental Health Services – Hastings Prince Edward, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, and the United Way of Hastings and Prince Edward.