August 31st marks International Overdose Awareness Day (IAOD), a day that signifies lives profoundly affected by the global overdose epidemic.
The data for July 2023 stands as a stark reminder: 278 suspected drug-related deaths in Ontario. Each one represents families, friends, and communities grappling with loss.
Harm reduction, an approach endorsed by global health authorities such as Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, UNAIDS and WHO, is an evidence-based strategy for addressing this crisis.
This methodology prioritizes providing tools and knowledge to people who use substances, enabling them to make informed and safer decisions.
It’s essential to understand that harm reduction does not advocate for drug use but instead focuses on safety and minimizing risk.
Interested in a deeper understanding, or want to spread the word? You can:
- Like and share CMHA (branch name) posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and help explain harm reduction to your friends and family.
- Discover more about CMHA Ontario’s commitment to Harm Reduction.
- Explore community initiatives for IOAD 2023 or lend your voice to petitions at overdoseday.com.
- Looking for events near you? Moms Stop the Harm is curating a list of nationwide activities. Join in and make a difference.
This International Overdose Awareness Day, commit to reducing harm and help CMHA pave the way to understanding, compassion, and change.