Rubicon marks Overdose Awareness Day

Local communities in South Carolina and around the world are coming together today, Thursday, August 31, 2023, to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose.

Observed on August 31 every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.

Rubicon Family Counseling Services is giving away free Deterra Medication Disposal packets, Free NARCAN, and there will be free refreshments.

By holding an event this year, the people of Darlington County are joining themselves to a global movement for understanding, compassion, and change.

Global overdose rates have skyrocketed in the last 25 years. In 2020, an estimated 284 million people worldwide had used a drug in the past 12 months, a 26 per cent increase from 2010.

In 2022, Darlington County ranked 41 in South Carolina in overdose deaths.  There was a 100% increase in overdose deaths between 2020 and 2021 (SC DHEC, Vital Statistics).

“Just one overdose is too many for our community to endure,” said Theresa M. Curtis, Director of Prevention Services at Rubicon.

“We encourage members of the community to come out and to stand with us in solidarity with the communities and families who have been personally affected by overdose.”

International Overdose Awareness Day is convened by Penington Institute, an Australian not-for-profit. This year for the first time, they have announced a campaign theme: Recognizing those who go unseen.

“With our theme for 2023, we honor the people whose lives have been altered by overdose. They are the family and friends grieving the loss of a loved one; workers in healthcare and support services extending strength and compassion; or spontaneous first responders who selflessly assume the role of lifesaver.”

Author: Stephan Drew

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