International Overdose Awareness Day was recently observed on August 31st. It aims to raise awareness of overdose and the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
Additionally, International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. There is no question what an epidemic this country, more specifically our community, is facing. During the entire month of September, Middletown Valley Bank is partnering with local organizations to help #EndOverdose! We have pledged to donate 10 cents for every transaction processed in our branches and $5 for every new Community Hero checking account opened to local overdose awareness organizations. In addition to this campaign, in an effort to get our employees more involved they were invited to wear jeans with a purple shirt, purple ribbon/wristband, or a silver badge for $5 to raise awareness
The silver badge and the purple wristband are symbols of awareness of overdose and its effects. Wearing these can signify the loss of someone cherished; or demonstrate support to those undergoing grief. It sends out a message that every person’s life is valuable and that stigmatizing people who use drugs needs to stop.
According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, it is estimated that globally there were 187,100 drug-related deaths (mostly overdoses) in 2013 with opioid overdose the largest category. More than three out of five drug overdose deaths involve an opioid. Overdose deaths from opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, have nearly quadrupled since 1999.*
The CDC provided even more recent statistics. In 2016, 63,632 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths increased significantly by 21.5% from 2015 to 2016. Opioids—prescription and illicit—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. **
In 2016, the states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, these hit WAY too close to home. Especially when Maryland is considered a state with statistically significant increases in drug overdose.**
While, our involvement may only be minimal in the grand scheme of things, we believe everyone has the ability to make a difference and we hope you join in the cause to help #EndOverdose!
Information Received from the following source(s):