How did International Overdose Awareness Day Start?
International Overdose Awareness Day all started back in 2001 when two Australians – Sally J. Finn and Peter Streker – decided to plan a local event by giving out ribbons to anyone who wanted to commemorate a loved one who had passed away; members of the community wore the ribbon as a way of remembering those who were taken away by drug overdose – this was when the opioid epidemic had only begin to peak its head, and the nation had not yet known the massive impact opioids would have on families and individuals everywhere.
The local event garnered more attention bigger the following year, and soon after various community organizations participated, including both government and non-government organizations, began to follow the trend by creating events themselves to start raising more awareness, as well as remember those that were lost as a result of drug abuse, addiction and overdose. Large cities in the US, UK and Australia followed the trend, until finally, a whole day was dedicated solely to overdose awareness.
Finally, in 2012 and since then, International Overdose Awareness Day has been led by the non-profit Australian group Penington Institute (formerly led by Salvation Army Crisis Services) – and according to their website, promising to provide “research analysis, promotion of effective strategies, workforce education, and public awareness activities.”
This Overdose Awareness Day 2017, August 31st, wear silver to raise awareness that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.
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