International Overdose Awareness Day
August 31, Overdose Awareness Day, a day Vivent Health will always remember.
Every day, 128 people in the United States die due to an opioid overdose. In 2019, the number of fatal overdoses increased almost 5% to more than 70,980.
Every day, Vivent Health Champions provide extraordinary services and support to help save the lives of people who are using drugs from overdose, as well as stop new cases of HIV and hepatitis. And while we are humbled by the work we do to save lives, today is a day set aside to remember and honor the people who have lost their life due to overdose. We also commit to constantly fighting for people who are using drugs.
To honor this commitment, Vivent Health provides free Naloxone (Narcan) and training on its use to people who may find themselves in a position to stop an overdose. In 2019, Vivent Health helped save more than 1,517 individuals in Wisconsin alone. We will provide Naloxone in all of our Lifepoint locations.
Unfortunately, drugs are often laced with other substances, such as fentanyl, which can increase the risk for accidental overdose. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than Morphine. People using drugs may not even be aware that there is something else mixed in with the drugs they are using. To overcome this, Vivent Health offers fentanyl test strips which can be used to identify if a drug is laced with fentanyl. People who use drugs laced with fentanyl can engage in the following strategies to reduce the risk of overdose:
- Use less than planned
- Test the shot
- Split the shot
- Use with a friend
- Have Narcan on hand
- Avoid mixing substances like benzos, alcohol and other opioids.
We at Vivent Health know that COVID-19 has made life even more challenging and isolation can be especially deadly for people using drugs. That’s why we encourage everyone to have a plan for overdose and never use alone. Injection drug users who must use alone should ask a trusted person to check on them or use a service such as Never Use Alone. Supporting others and checking on friends who may be using alone is a great way to be a friend that can save a life.
Vivent Health has fifteen locations across Colorado, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin where we provide testing for HIV, hepatitis C, and STIs. Our locations in Denver, Colorado and across Wisconsin also offer their successful Lifepoint Program, which offers syringes and supplies, fentanyl test strips and naloxone. Visit us at viventhealth.org for more information.
#OverdoseAware #ViventHealthRemembers #IOAD2020
Please feel free to use the hashtags listed above to help spark conversation around this very important day!