The 31st of August was International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). It is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose. This year’s IOAD theme ‘Recognising those people who go unseen’ encouraged us to acknowledge the people in our communities who are affected by overdose.
As part of IOAD, our staff at the Melbourne Drug Court (part of the Melbourne Magistrates Court) had an information stand and were on hand to educate other members of the Drug Court team who come from different community health organisations about harm minimisation, ways of promoting prevention, and the need to reduce stigma and enable help seeking.
Our Barwon team held an afternoon tea with members of fellow non profit Meli and members of the local community to acknowledge the impact that overdose has on our community. Candles were lit to remember the lives lost to overdose.
Overdose death does not discriminate and can impact all levels of the community. With the right accessible interventions, it is preventable.
As part of IOAD, several of our sites had an online training session on how to administer the nasal medication spray Naloxone, which can reverse the effects of opioids and save lives. We have some Naloxone at each of our sites, in case staff need to administer it, but we are also keen to register as a distributor of Naloxone sprays, as part of the new Take Home Program. This PBS funded program provides free Naloxone to clients as an additional way to support harm minimization, and we are working towards being able to provide this life saving medication to our clients and their families.