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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

International Overdose Awareness Day (Aug. 31)

Bottle of prescription drug pills
Since 2001, International Overdose Awareness Day has worked to raise awareness that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose  and lists local events around the world.

Providing information and resources to the general public is its top priority, including a mobile app that informs on-the-go.

In recent weeks, the issue of the increasing rate of fatal drug overdose has captivated media coverage and public discussion. Numerous deaths related to the prescription drug fentanyl have served as an unfortunate reminder that the tragedy of overdose is not exclusive to illicit pharmaceuticals.

CAMH’s Dr. Benedikt Fischer, a Senior Scientist, tells us that consumption of prescription opioids, a class of powerful drugs that are primarily prescribed to treat acute or chronic pain, have steeply risen in Canada through the years 2000–2010 to population levels which are second only to the United States in global comparison.

Pay tribute to this International Overdose Awareness Day by learning more about the risk of opioid addiction, signs of overdose, and preventable measures you can take to avoid overdose. 

CAMH’s Opioid Resource Hub contains a wide variety of information for youth, health professionals, school communities, and individuals supporting loved ones at risk of overdose. Click here for an alert for health care professionals.

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