PREVENT OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS

Friday August 31th, 2018

Drug overdose is an increasing global health problem.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths are up 17% nationwide—now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. Citywide, overdose deaths are up 46%, with 1,374 overdose deaths in 2016 compared to 937 in 2015. Deaths of homeless New Yorkers are driven by drug-related causes that track broader city and national trends.

As national opioid overdoses reach epidemic proportions, every life lost is a tragedy that reinforces our commitment to improving delivery of services and increasing access to care. From expanding overdose preparedness training to more-than doubling our street outreach staffing and dedicated capacity, we continue to find ways to achieve more positive health outcomes and save more lives as we help homeless New Yorkers get back on their feet.

August 31, 2018 is International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event that aims to raise awareness that overdose death is preventable, to reduce the stigma associated with it, and to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or have been permanently injured as a result of drug overdose. It is also a day of hope, in recognition of the tens of thousands of lives that have been saved from overdose, and a call to further action to end the opioid overdose crisis.
 
The NYC DHS Office of the Medical Director (OMD) will join dozens of organizations in the U.S. and abroad participating in International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. You are encouraged to have an awareness event at your facility as this is a great way to show your support as well as to educate your staff and clients on what opioids are, how an overdose could be prevented, and how it should be responded to, using naloxone administration.  Naloxone, a safe medication that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose, remains a powerful and effective tool in preventing opioid overdose deaths.