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Ohio Set to Observe Inaugural Overdose Awareness Day Aug. 31

Ohio Set to Observe Inaugural Overdose Awareness Day Aug. 31

 

State agencies support effort with influx of lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone, stipends to help local communities host awareness activities

 

(COLUMBUS, OH) – With a goal of raising awareness, supporting communities in the fight against drug addiction, and remembering loved ones lost to the epidemic, the state will observe its inaugural “Ohio Overdose Awareness Day” on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The observance was officially sanctioned on June 8 when Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 30, sponsored by Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), into law. Flags across the state will be lowered to half-staff in honor of the lives lost to addiction and to continue to raise awareness around addiction.

In support of Ohio Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Month in September – RecoveryOhio, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) are partnering to distribute more than 120,000 additional doses of the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone to communities across the state. The agencies also partnered to create a partner toolkit and award stipends to local communities to facilitate overdose awareness and naloxone distribution events. Click HERE for a list of Ohio communities that received stipends. Additionally, Governor Mike DeWine, RecoveryOhio, ODH, and OhioMHAS are encouraging all Ohioans to consider carrying naloxone. 

Ohio’s Overdose Awareness Day activities build on previous efforts to help communities address mounting overdoses. In May, state officials prioritized $2.5 million to rapidly deploy 60,000 doses of naloxone to 23 counties demonstrating a higher burden of overdoses.

“Please consider carrying naloxone for a close loved one or someone you don’t even know – it could save a life,” said Governor DeWine. “Medical professionals have safely used it for nearly 40 years, but you don’t need to be a medical professional to carry or use it.”

Last year, the Project DAWN network distributed more than 90,000 naloxone kits and received reports of more than 15,000 lives saved. “That’s the power of Ohioans helping Ohioans,” said Governor DeWine in a video message available on the RecoveryOhio website.

After a brief decline in 2019, overdoses increased sharply last year during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio’s medical and first responder communities attribute the increase primarily to fentanyl, a highly addictive and dangerous opioid. Although the numbers are being finalized, 2020 will likely prove the deadliest on record in Ohio for drug overdoses.

To learn more about Ohio’s work to address opioid addiction, visit recoveryohio.gov. If you or a loved one need help for a substance use disorder, please call the Ohio CareLine (1.800.720.9616) for free, confidential assistance from a trained counselor.   

  

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Click HERE to read the Ohio Overdose Awareness Day proclamation from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

For more information regarding local events in your area, contact your county Health Department or Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board.

Click HERE for B-roll footage of the naloxone being prepared for shipment at Ohio’s Pharmacy Services Center. Still image of naloxone nasal spray attached.