Substance Use Prevention
International Overdose Prevention Day (August 31)
According to data from the CDC National Vital Statistics System, the rate of overdose deaths has increased by over 250% since 1999. This increase is related to both prescription opioids, illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and stimulants. Data from the CDC National Center for Health Statistics also show that, in 2019, American Indian or Alaska Native people had a higher drug overdose death rate than any other racial or ethnic minority group (30 per 100,000).
International Overdose Prevention Day, observed yearly on August 31, serves as a call to action to share information and resources on how to stop drug overdoses and save lives:
- Stop Overdose is a CDC campaign that educates people who use drugs about the dangers of fentanyl, the risks of mixing drugs, how to use naloxone to reverse overdoses, and the importance of reducing recovery and treatment stigma. Stop Overdose is also available in Spanish.
- Rx Awareness is a CDC campaign that shares the stories of people whose lives were impacted by prescription opioids, including real stories from Alaska Native individuals:
- The Health Equity in the Response to Drug Overdose Training is a free online course designed to help health practitioners make health equity concepts and practices part of their drug overdose prevention and response efforts.
- The HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy details steps HHS agencies and their partners are taking on primary prevention of substance use disorders, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment, and recovery support.
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative funds research on improving prevention and treatment for opioid misuse and addiction.
Drugs take over 250 lives every day
To address the increasing number of overdose deaths related to both prescription opioids and illicit drugs, we are sharing the CDC's Stop Overdose campaign to educate people who use drugs about the dangers of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the risks and consequences of mixing drugs, the lifesaving power of naloxone, and the importance of reducing stigma around recovery and treatment options. Together, we can stop drug overdoses and save lives.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.
Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications. Often given as a nasal spray, naloxone is safe and easy to use.
What is polysubstance use? The use of more than one drug, also known as polysubstance use, is common. This includes when two or more are taken together or within a short time period, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Addiction is a disease, not a character flaw. There are many ways to treat substance use disorders. Learn more about what options are available and how to support loved ones on their recovery journey.
Help is available. Here are two local resources within the area that can help.