printed 08/28/2020


International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on Aug. 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.

It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose death is preventable. Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. They come from all walks of life.

Here in Worcester County, Worcester Goes Purple is helping to spread the message, support the families involved, educate our children about drug addiction and promote a path to recovery.

The Maryland Department of Health report released in June 2020 reports that in 2019, 19 people died in Worcester County from drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths.

The report further states that in Maryland, 2379 lives were lost in 2019. This equates to tens of thousands of our Maryland neighbors who have lost a mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend.

What can you do to help? “Get Narcan trained!”

Narcan can be used to save a life.

The quote from the Freedom Center in Maryland, “The only thing Narcan enables is breathing!”

It’s time to take stigma out of saving lives.

If you would like to be prepared to save a life, the Worcester County Health Department provides free virtual Narcan training and Narcan. Training is available to everyone and is a valuable skill equal to CPR.

You never know when you may run across a situation where you can save a life. Narcan can also be obtained without a prescription from your local pharmacy.

As we remember those who have been lost to overdose and their families, we need to keep fighting drug use. Parents, talk with your children, be kind to someone who has a struggling family member and help us to reduce the stigma which will go a long way in helping people seek treatment.

Worcester Goes Purple is participating in a Virtual Tri-County Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. This virtual event will feature a candlelight ceremony, speakers, music, resources and more.

Follow Worcester Goes Purple Facebook page for more information. Our goal is to shatter stigma and remember those who have lost their battle with the disease of addiction.

Deborah Smullen

Events Coordinator Worcester Goes Purple

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