Make a Difference on International Overdose Awareness Day Aug. 31

According to provisional data from the CDC, of the nearly 110,000 reported drug overdose deaths in 2022, about three-quarters were attributed to opioids. Workplace unintentional overdose deaths from nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol have increased 536% since 2011, totaling 464 in 2021 and accounting for nearly 9% of all occupational injury deaths that year.

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held Aug. 31 each year to remember those gone too soon from overdoses and commit to our goal of preventing these deaths, from the workplace to anyplace. You can help protect your loved ones, co-workers and neighbors by learning more about the risks of an opioid overdose and what you can do to save lives. 

What You Can Do

Talk to your workplace about adding naloxone nasal spray to their first aid kits and training employees to use it as part of an emergency first aid response. This safe and easily administered medication can prevent overdose deaths and is now approved for over-the-counter use. NSC online and in-person First Aid Training covers naloxone administration. Learn more about training options for your workplace.

Learn to spot the signs of an opioid overdose so you’re prepared to take action in an emergency. An overdose can happen anywhere; if you can spot the symptoms, you can help save a life. 

Encourage your workplace to participate in IOAD observance activities, such as holding a candlelight vigil, providing a safe space for telling the stories of overdose victims, or purchasing or creating purple wristbands, pins, shirts or other items to wear on Aug. 31. You can also support NSC efforts to end the opioid epidemic by making a gift in honor of a loved one.

Hear and share stories of NSC Survivor Advocates whose lives were changed forever due to opioids. You can share your own story by adding the name of a loved one who died of an opioid overdose to the Celebrating Lost Loved Ones map.

Learn about the impact of substance use at work and how to have tough conversations to provide support to co-workers and loved ones at this Aug. 31 webinar, hosted by NSC and Youturn Health. You’ll learn about the disease of addiction, how it impacts the workplace and how to communicate effectively when talking with someone struggling with substance use disorder. This session will also provide an overview of free NSC resources to address substance use in the workplace.

Learn more about opioids and how to talk to your family about this issue with Connect2Prevent, a free NSC resource in partnership with Pacira Biosciences. This 10-week program uses a series of interesting, easy-to-follow lessons designed by experts to help employees feel confident when discussing opioids with loved ones. Learn more and sign up now to get started with this free resource.

Train your supervisors to address workplace impairment. NSC Impairment Recognition and Response Training for Supervisors is a one-hour eLearning course that will give your supervisors confidence and skills to move your workplace in a safer direction so you can prevent overdoses before they happen. 

We all know someone who has struggled with substance use, and we can all make a difference, whether it’s for our friends, co-workers or loved ones. Workplaces can have a positive impact by equipping their first aid kits with lifesaving naloxone and training their employees to use it as part of an emergency first aid response. We can protect our families by learning more about this issue and discussing it even when it’s difficult. And we can all support each other by taking action on International Overdose Awareness Day. Get additional resources and information at overdoseday.com.

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