1. What is the importance of International Overdose Awareness Day to you?
International Overdose Awareness day is an important annual campaign that acknowledges the grief and loss felt by families who have lost a family member to addiction.
I am proud that Overdose Awareness day began in Australia back in 2001 and has since developed into an awareness day, internationally.
It is my belief that with increased public awareness and engagement from Australian communities, we can begin to reduce stigma around addiction (be it licit or illicit drugs) and to provide families and those who are suffering from ‘addiction,’ the chance to seek preventative help without judgement and prejudice.
2. How can we prevent further overdose deaths?
The first step in preventing overdose deaths is better awareness around addiction, empowering consumers and to remove any stigma of addiction within the Australian community.
This includes the stigma surrounding addiction to both illicit drugs and licit drugs, providing referral services and a safe space to allow individuals to come forward and treat their addiction without the added judgement and pressures of society.
The importance of public support is often understated, but once the public understands that the tragedy of overdose is preventable, we will be on the right path to support and help one another in preventing further fatalities relating to illicit and licit drug addiction and/or misuse.