International Overdose Awareness Day Observed Aug. 31
Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is asking Oklahomans to wear silver to show support of International Overdose Awareness Day, Wednesday Aug. 31. Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s largest drug problem, and this day aims to raise awareness of overdoses and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths affecting Oklahomans and their families.
Of the more than 5,300 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007 to 2014, about 80 percent involved at least one prescription drug and almost 90 percent of those deaths involved prescription painkillers (opioids). In recent years, the numbers of unintentional poisoning deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes. More unintentional poisoning deaths involve hydrocodone or oxycodone, both prescription painkillers, than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined. Adults ages 35-54 have the highest death rate of any age group for prescription overdoses.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.
OSDH offers the following suggestions for preventing prescription drug overdoses:
If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, react to this true emergency by calling 911 immediately.
For more information on prescription drug overdose prevention, contact the OSDH Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430 or visit http://poison.health.ok.gov. For help finding treatment referrals, call 211. To report illegal distribution or diversion of prescription drugs, call the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control at 1-800-522-8031. More information on International Overdose Awareness Day can be found at www.overdoseday.com.
Prescription drug overdose prevention is supported by federal dollars from the Preventive Health Services division within Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant # 2B01DP009043).