Initiated more than 20 years ago, International Overdose Awareness Day is held to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose.

Drug overdose is preventable, and the work we do at CODA helps support the goals of International Overdose Awareness Day. In particular we help:

  • give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose;
  • stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy; and
  • prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.

Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Oregon have increased a whopping 600% since 2019, and are the leading cause of overdose deaths in the state. With the increase of fentanyl in local drug supplies, including in counterfeit prescription pills, we see overdose deaths even among individuals who do not have substance use disorder.

Together with the White House proclamation on Overdose Awareness Week (August 28 through September 3, 2022), this day gives us added incentive to raise awareness of substance use disorder to prevent deaths, promote treatment, and celebrate recovery.

Some words of compassion, from CODA Executive Director Alison Noice: “To those of you who have lost someone to overdose, may you rest easy knowing the heart and soul of CODA is with you. To everyone reading this, let us take today—and every day forward—as a reminder to honor those we have lost, those who seek our help, and those who we hope will find us in the future.”