In observance of International Overdose Awareness Day, August 31, the Departments of Consumer Protection (DCP), Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Public Health (DPH) are encouraging families to take steps to prevent opioid addiction and overdose.
It’s easy to take small steps to learn about those living with opioid use disorder in your community, prevent overdoses and to learn how to respond in the event of an overdose. A few things you and your family can do are:
- Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet: Overdoses can be prevented by ensuring there’s limited access to unneeded medication in your home. You can dispose of your medication safely in one of Connecticut’s nearly 100 drop boxes. You can find the drop box closest to you at www.ct.gov/dropbox.
- Learn About Overdose Response: The state’s Naloxone and Overdose Response App (NORA) teaches you how to recognize the signs of an overdose, how to respond and how to give naloxone. Visit NORA at www.norasaves.com.
- Get Information About Living With Opioid Use Disorder: Visit www.liveLOUD.org to learn about opioids, opioid use disorder and what treatments are available here in Connecticut. If you or someone you love is struggling with opioids, you’re not alone, and we’re here to help. You can also call the Access Line at 1-800-563-4086 any time, day or night, to be connected to addiction treatment and services.
“There’s no one solution to the opioid crisis, but if we all take a little time out of our day to improve our lives, and the lives of those around us, we can make progress,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, adding, “We encourage everyone to dispose of their unneeded medication, and to review information about how they can help in the event of an overdose. Taking a few minutes out of our day to complete those steps could save a life.”
“As we take the time to remember those we have lost to addiction, it’s important that we do what we can to prevent future addiction and loss of life,” remarked DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. “I often say, ‘It takes a village.’ If we all take simple steps to prevent addiction and overdose, we can make a difference in the fight against opioids.”
“We recognize that many individuals, families, and communities in Connecticut have suffered terrible stress and loss due to overdoses,” states DPH Commissioner Renée Coleman- Mitchell. “We encourage residents to use and share these state resources, including our NORA app, so that together we can work to save lives and reduce unintentional overdoses and death.”
International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held each year on August 31. The goal is to raise awareness about overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related death and to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends of those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
For a list of Overdose Awareness Day events in Connecticut, visit the DMHAS website at www.ct.gov/dmhas