International Overdose Awareness Day is held on August 31st each year. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the disease and the physical and emotional toll it takes on the addicted individual, family members and friends. Yes, it is a disease and a hideous one at that. The Purple & Silver Pins symbolize the fact that every life is valuable and that the stigma attached to those who use drugs needs to stop.
Individuals wearing the pin may have lost a loved one or know someone who is addicted and possibly in recovery. Express your support and acknowledgement if you see someone wearing the pin.
President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a Public Health Emergency. Had it been designated a National Emergency more funds would be forthcoming for research, therapy and rehabilitation. Contact your lawmakers to lobby for additional funding.
The latest stats:
√ More than 115 people die every day after overdosing on opioids.
√ Roughly 25 percent of patients prescribed opioids misuse them.
√ About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
√ The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports in the late 1990’s pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers. Healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
√ Deaths from opioids more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2015.
Families Anonymous is a support group providing a sense of camaraderie and fellowship for family members and friends of those individuals with Drug, Alcohol or Related Behavioral issues. Check them out on line for meeting locations and more information at www.familiesanonymous.org Their message is “You are not alone.”
Source: Gary R’nel
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