Today (August 31st) is International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event that aims reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, remember those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose, and to spread the message that the tragedy of overdose is preventable. This blog post was written by SSDP Alumna Elizabeth Kinnard, who now works for Community Catalyst’s Substance Use Disorders Project. From 2000 to 2014, nearly half a million people in the United States died from drug overdoses. The nation has made significant strides in battling this epidemic, but we need to do more. Today, International Overdose Awareness Day, is a good time to explore comprehensive strategies to reduce drug addiction, which is one of Community Catalyst’s goals. The aims of this day include remembering those who have died or been permanently injured as a result of drug overdose, and showing that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Most national attention has focused on naloxone (brand name Narcan), a lifesaving opioid overdose antidote, which counters the effects of an opioid overdose by allowing the victim to breathe normally. The antidote has been used for several decades by emergency medical personnel, but in recent years, the focus has been getting naloxone into the hands of people who use drugs themselves as well as their friends and families. Studies have shown that providing opioid overdose training and naloxone kits to such nonprofessionals who might witness an opioid overdose can help reduce deaths, and that naloxone distribution to drug users is cost-effective. To keep reading the full article, check out the original post on Community Catalyst’s website.