Today is International Overdose Awareness Day and around the world, people are remembering those they lost to overdose. We lose people all the time from this disease and the stigma their families often feel can be overwhelming. And here in Canada, it’s on the rise and often related to opiods. Between 1991 and 2010, there was a 242% increase in fatal opiod overdoses. In actual human lives, that means in 2010 there were 41.6 deaths per million people. And with the recent rash of Fentanyl related deaths, we are affected more and more everyday.
International Overdose Awareness Day is about taking time to remember those people, and to raise awareness about overdose. And families and friends all over the world are leaving tributes to their loved ones on www.overdoseday.com:
“In memory of my nephew, Logan Mason, who left us on December 20, 2012. I think of you daily and miss you deeply. Your struggles ceased on that day, mine were just beginning. Knowing this gives a small measure of peace but my heart broke and is still filled with many cracks and crevices. You are not forgotten. It is not goodbye but until we meet again.” – Melinda
These testimonials are both beautiful and heartbreaking. Many people state their commitment to making sure this doesn’t happen to others. Most of all, they show that it is okay to celebrate the life of your loved one, even if they lost their battle with addiction. Today, we take time to remember some of the alumni or recovery community members that we have lost.
It’s fitting then, that Recovery Month begins the very next day. It’s the transition from loss to hope. While Overdose Day is about remembering those we’ve lost, Recovery Day is all about celebrating those who made it. And both are focused on removing the stigma that continues to surround the disease of addiction. Recovery Day began in Canada in 2012, and has spread to 26 cities across the nation. It’s about getting together, building awareness and celebrating the role recovery plays in the lives of Canadians. It’s about hope and we’re proud to be a supporter.
We’ll be participating in Recovery Day events in Calgary and Victoria on September 13th and in Vancouver and Toronto on September 20th. Go to www.recoveryday.ca for information on events in your city.