Texas Overdose Day!

EDITOR'S NOTE: While drug overdose is a major crisis for youth and young adult, no age group is exempt from the tragedy associated with the problem, including seniors. We would to remind our readers that awareness is the best medicine when ot comes to encouraging prescription and non-prescription drug users of all ages to be aware of the dangers, the risks and the responsibilities of drug us.


On August 31, Texans will join thousands from around the World on International Overdose Awareness Day to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of drug related deaths. This is a day to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends and to remember those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdoses and the drug laws that perpetuate the problem.


Texas Overdose Awareness Day will be held on the South steps of the State of Texas Capitol Building on August 31st from 5:30-7:30 pm. This event spreads the message that the tragedy of overdoses deaths are preventable. Members of the community, as well as many State and local agencies will be participating.


The Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative “TONI”, which has helped organize this event, is dedicated to changing the conversation around the overdose crisis in the State of Texas and to bring real education and solutions to the opioid crisis ravaging our society.


This years’ event will feature two of the leading advocates/experts around overdose prevention in the World. Dan Bigg, from the Chicago Recovery Alliance, has been doing overdose prevention and education, as well as training health care providers and community members on how to recognize, respond and evaluate overdoses since 1996. He is, both directly and indirectly, responsible for the rescue of tens of thousands of people here in the USA and abroad through education on the use of Naloxone, the life saving medication used in opioid overdose.


“There is a universal in this world. It is the love of a parent for their child. This love has no limit. And as the child grows, becomes an adult, the love of a parent also grows. The loss of that child, the death of that child, the depth of a parent’s pain cannot be described.” Denise Cullen, LCSW, Executive Director GRASP/Broken No More.


Denise Cullen lost her only child, her son, on August 5th, 2008. His name is Jeff. He is forever 27.


GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing)/ Broken No More and partnering organizations will convene rallies, vigils, and overdose prevention trainings across the United States in commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day. From California to Vermont, parents and loved ones of those lost to overdose are coming together to increase awareness of this overdose epidemic. And they are coming together, working together, in an effort to prevent others from suffering the loss of their loved one.


In 2014, opioid related overdoses accounted for 28,647 deaths. Thus, on average, 78 opioid overdose deaths occurred each and every day in 2014. Overdoses from all drugs combined caused a total of 47,055 deaths in 2014 (129 per day on average). And each of these deaths, they were someone’s son, they were someone’s daughter. Their lives had meaning too.


Also featured at this years’ event will be musical entertainment provided by  the Peterson Brothers, the blues sensation that have wowed the Austin music community with their incredible  sound and stage presence.


Overdose Awareness Day also presents an opportunity to help the wider community understand that drug overdose is a social issue and that it impacts everyone-no one is immune. In fact, overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States, many of which could have been prevented.  A silver badge or purple ribbon signifying the loss of someone to a drug overdose are the symbols for the day. We will have purple ribbons available at the Event. We invite you to wear the badge or ribbon to show your support about this preventable public health crises and to remember those we have lost. Please donate Go to: click on the Donate Now Button then scroll down to select a fund and click on Texas Overdose Awareness Day. Your donations will help educate Texas about this issue and our ability to Prevent many deaths.  Please come join us on August 31st at the South steps of our State Capitol and speak out!


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