Back in February, we addressed drug use in Baltimore in a blog about President Obama’s decision to propose $1 billion in funds to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic. You can learn more about that here. Today, August 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day, and we want to shed some light on important events throughout the city as we honor those lives lost to overdose. At My Brother’s Keeper, we are proud to provide social services to those in need, including addiction treatment referrals.
International Overdose Awareness Day: Why it Matters
Did you know that there were 1,113 lives lost to overdose in Baltimore between 2010 and 2014? These are valuable lives lost in a tragic, preventable way. International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event that aims to raise awareness about drug overdoses and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. In June, The Baltimore Sun reported that overdose deaths in Maryland jumped 21 percent last year from the year before. The article states:
“The deaths include all those who died of overdoses from drugs and alcohol, but the biggest increases were related to opioids. Heroin-related fatal overdoses rose 29 percent, to 748. Deaths from Fentanyl, which is many times stronger and often mixed with or substituted for heroin without a user’s knowledge, rose 83 percent, to 340.”
Baltimore Overdose Awareness Day Remembrance Vigil
In 2015, 393 lives were lost in Baltimore as a result of drug overdoses. According to the Baltimore City Health Department, there will be an Overdose Awareness Day Remembrance Vigil today to honor those lives – illuminating 393 luminary bags in remembrance. Health Commissioner Dr. Laura Wen and other community leaders in the fight against opioid overdose will be speaking and presenting calls to action at the event, in hopes of reversing the tide of overdose deaths. There will also be art displays and performances courtesy of the New Day Campaign. Here is the event info:
- Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2016
- Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM
- Location: Druid Hill Park at the Sundial Pavilion
According to the Overdose Awareness Day Facebook event, organizations and agencies citywide will also be hosting trainings to teach staff and community members how to respond to an overdose with Naloxone, a prescription medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose.
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping in Baltimore
To learn more about how to help or to find out more about our services including addiction treatment referrals, prescription assistance, hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.