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Created date

21/08/2017

Media Release - IOAD2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NTAHC acknowledges International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) 2017.

Every year on 31 August, NTAHC seeks to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths by acknowledging IOAD. IOAD draws attention to the grief felt by the families and friends of those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose, allowing them space to remember and cherish lost loved ones.

 “The number of accidental deaths due to drug overdose in Australia is growing rapidly, a tragedy for the friends and family left behind” said NTAHC Executive Director, Kerrie Jordan, “Contrary to popular belief, people aged between 40-49 are most likely to die of an accidental drug overdose, with prescription drugs responsible for more drug-related deaths (71 percent) than illicit drugs (29% percent) (Penington Institute, 2016). You can show support for those affected by overdose by wearing silver on IOAD 2017. This small gesture will help send the message that each human life has value, regardless of presumption, prejudice, stigma and discrimination directed towards people who use drugs”

IOAD also helps spread the message that overdose is preventable with good information about taking opiates and the availability, through our NSPs, of take home naloxone (Narcan), a drug that can reverse an opiate overdose. NTAHC’s NSPs provide sterile injecting equipment, take home naloxone kits and information and resources free of charge in our locations in Alice Springs, Darwin and Palmerston, resulting in a productive and beneficial service for the community.

“NSPs are proven to save $4 for every $1 spent on these services in Australia (Wilson, 2009)”, continued Ms Jordan, “but one of the main stumbling blocks for people accessing NSPs is stigma and judgement. By showing your support on IOAD2017, you’ll encourage people who use drugs to do so with optimal personal safety in mind, and hopefully contribute to reducing the instance of overdose in Australia”.

Official IOAD2017 silver badges are available free of charge from NTAHC NSPs in Alice Springs, Darwin and Palmerston. A Memorial Tree will be located in the Alice Springs and Darwin NSPs in the weeks surrounding IOAD to aid us in remembering our fallen comrades.  

References:

Penington Institute. (2016). Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2016. Carlton: Penington Institute, page 1.

Wilson, David. (2009). Return on investment 2: Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programs in Australia. Darlinghurst: UNSW, page 8.

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