Selfadvocatenet.ca is in support of International Overdose Awareness Day 2023
This page will highlight why is it important to not overdose on drugs
reason is it can kill you our population disabilities often are in hard times cost living housing basics we want to
highlight information where you can get help
First this years Theme is Recognizing those people who go unseen.
Overdose touches people and communities in many ways.
With our theme for 2023, “Recognizing those people who go unseen,” 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.
We would like to say to these people: #weseeyou. Theirs are the voices we should amplify, and their strength and experience should be held up as examples to us all. Too often, however, they are left to bear the burden of this crisis alone and in silence.
This year on August 31, let’s acknowledge and support the people in our communities who go unrecognized by raising awareness of the hidden impacts of overdose, promoting education of overdose response, and reaching out to politicians to make lasting, lifesaving policy changes.
It’s time to act. Who are the people in your community affected by overdose that you would like to recognize this IOAD?
This above is on IOAD website
Victoria Thursday, August 31, 2023 7:00 AM
Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, has released the following statement on International Overdose Awareness Day:
“As we reflect on this day, our thoughts are with the families and communities that have been devastated by the toxic drug crisis in British Columbia, Canada and around the world.
“The toxic drug crisis touches every corner of our province, affecting people from all walks of life. In the first five months of this year alone, over 1,000 people in B.C. were lost to poisoned drugs.
“We remember those we have lost, and we acknowledge the ongoing challenges faced by people who use substances and encounter mental-health difficulties. These individuals are all unique human beings who had stories, dreams and hopes, and who were loved by their communities.
“Deaths from the toxic-drug crisis can be prevented. However, stigma and fear of judgment too often force individuals into the shadows, using drugs alone and avoiding life-saving resources. All too often, using alone can be a death sentence. To overcome this, we must all work together to support those seeking help so no one suffers alone. We must remember that every person is deserving of compassion and care, and every life has value.
“Our government is working hard to stop the stigma that prevents people from reaching out for help. We are working to build an integrated system of care and treatment, based on the understanding that addiction is a health issue, not a criminal one.
“As families across B.C. head back to school next week, mental health and substance-use education, prevention and service expansion for children and youth remains a priority for our government. Young people today are dealing with many challenges, including the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related emergencies and the toxic-drug crisis. The need for early intervention is paramount. When a young person seeks help for mental-health or addiction issues, a timely and effective response can make a world of difference.
“In response to this urgent need, we’re expanding youth outreach programs, Integrated Child and Youth Teams, and Foundry youth centres across B.C. The 35 Foundry centres open or on the way are safe, judgment-free spaces that offer vital mental-health and addiction help for young people. Last year, Foundry centres and Foundry Virtual BC together helped more than 16,000 young people, with an average of more than 3,400 individuals supported each month.
“We know there is still more to do. We will remain unwavering in our efforts until the day when no more families, friends or communities suffer the heartbreak of losing a loved one to this tragic crisis.”
This on BC Govt website go to the link here
Provincial health officer’s statement on International Overdose Awareness Day
Victoria Thursday, August 31, 2023 10:00 AM
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, has issued the following statement regarding the International Overdose Awareness Day:
“Today, as we mark International Overdose Awareness Day, we also affirm the inherent rights and title of B.C. First Nations, and we recognize the inherent rights to health and wellness of all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people living in the province. Indigenous Peoples and communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by this crisis that compounds the harms of colonial history and intergenerational trauma. We must uphold our foundational obligations to Indigenous Peoples as we reflect on the theme this year of recognizing those people who go unseen in the unregulated, toxic-drug crisis. This public-health crisis and provincial health emergency continues to impact people, our friends, loved ones, and neighbours, from all walks of life.
“Beyond the many families and friends grieving the loss of a loved one, those often unseen in the crisis include health-care and harm-reduction workers, the bystanders carrying and administering naloxone, the first responders who attend overdose events outside the public eye, and those advocating to help people who use drugs to be able to do so safely.
“I know the unregulated and toxic-drug supply issue has sparked difficult conversations throughout the province. I am hopeful that these discussions will focus on what we can do collectively to save lives.
“Almost seven people in B.C. are losing their lives daily to this unregulated, toxic-drug supply. Especially troubling for me is the BC Coroners Service data that shows that overdoses are now the leading cause of death among youth. We are seeing evidence that many deaths are among those isolated and not engaging in care due to stigma and lack of safe pharmaceutical alternatives. As I have said previously, these deaths are preventable; we must all refocus our efforts.
“We must have the courage to be bold, innovative, open-minded, and anti-racist. While I’m proud that British Columbia has taken an important step around decriminalization of people in possession of drugs for their own use and with innovations in access to prescribed safer supply, we know that these are only part of the work that must be done. This includes upholding inherent Indigenous rights, access to safe housing, food security, income security, harm-reduction services, and health services that meet people’s needs where they are.
“We must recognize that recovery is a journey and that every person’s journey is different. That recovery is not defined by absolute measures such as abstinence from all drugs, but is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, have the same opportunities as others to live self-determined lives and strive in their own unique way to reach their full potential.
“Now is the time to address the conflation of decriminalization and public safety; it is time to collectively confront the misinformation and false rhetoric some are pushing out for personal or political gain, suggesting that access to safer supply and decriminalization of people who use drugs has led to increased harm and public drug use. This is not supported by data and these tactics are creating harm and further stigma that make reaching out for help unsafe.
“We know that what continues to drive the fatal outcomes for people who use drugs in B.C. is an increasingly toxic, unregulated, and unpredictable illicit drug supply contaminated primarily with fentanyl and its analogues, but also with benzodiazepines and other adulterants.
“We must, as a community, call out the rhetoric that plays on people’s fears about safety and valid concerns about the cost of housing, food insecurity and inflation to unjustly target people who are homeless and people who use drugs. We must also dispel the false dichotomy that pits harm reduction against treatment; both are necessary, and more options are needed for both to support people on their recovery journey. We need to have the courage to continue to have these conversations, even when they are difficult. We know connection and respectful conversation have the power to change minds and combat stigma – and that saves lives.
“Together, we can continue to find solutions that are grounded in love and care, not fear and discrimination. We must work collectively to get there. This provincial public-health emergency deserves continued urgency in attention – we all have a part to play.”
This is on BC Govt website go to the link here
Message from the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health and the Minister of Health – International Overdose Awareness Day
August 31, 2023 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, a day where we reflect on the devastating and tragic impact of the toxic drug and overdose crisis, and remember those who have lost their lives, and their loved ones to an overdose.
It is a reminder that every person who overdoses is somebody who has a family and people that care about them and that we must take all actions at all levels to protect them.
We have and will continue to listen to our partners, stakeholders, and the people and communities directly impacted by substance use. To all the community organizations, and health care providers across Canada, from the Downton Eastside in Vancouver, to Halifax, we thank you for your tireless, and relentless work to save lives and end this public health crisis. This is an incredibly complex issue that requires a full range of health and social services and supports to reduce substance use harms, and overdose deaths.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to preventing or reducing overdose deaths. We need all four internationally recognized pillars of drug policy; prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement in our response to this crisis. This can include a range of evidence-based options including harm reduction services, peer support, pain management services, treatment, and recovery, for those who are ready for it. Everyone’s journey is different and our approach needs to recognize the risks and opportunities to offer supports across the spectrum of substance use in order to save lives.
We are also committed to reducing the stigma and barriers to services and supports for people who use substances. Stigma kills because it causes people to hide their use, use alone, and avoid seeking help for them or those around them for fear of judgment or consequences.
Through Budget 2023, we have announced nearly $200 billion to improve health care, which includes efforts to integrate mental health and substance use care throughout the entire health care system. We will continue to work with all levels of government, partners, Indigenous communities, stakeholders, people with lived and living experience, and organizations in communities across the country to save lives and reduce substance use related harms.
But, we can’t end this crisis alone. We encourage everyone to take time to learn the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, and to carry naloxone. An overdose is always an emergency. You should always call for help. Naloxone kits are available at most pharmacies, and have successfully reversed thousands of overdoses across Canada.
Together, we will continue to work toward addressing and ending the overdose crisis. Let’s reduce the stigma and educate ourselves so we can save lives.
The Honourable Ya’ara Saks, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Mark Holland, P.C., M.P.
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
This on Govt of Canada website go to the link here
How to recognize an overdose
Recognizing an overdose can be difficult. If you aren’t sure, it is best to treat the situation like an overdose—you could save a life. Call 911 immediately. Administer naloxone, if it’s available. Do not leave the person alone.
Signs of an overdose may include:
- Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils”
- Falling asleep or loss of consciousness
- Slow, weak, or no breathing
- Choking or gurgling sounds
- Limp body
- Cold and/or clammy skin
- Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)
Here more resources from Govt of Canada has information that you can find here
Wellness Together Canada