In memory of those who have died from a drug overdose and in acknowledgement of the grief of family and friends left behind, August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). Several Federal agencies have information and resources to help people get involved, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The White House also released a Proclamation on IOAD on August 25, 2023.
This year for IOAD, the CDC developed an IOAD Partner Toolkit, including sample social media posts and other resources for clinicians to use and share with their networks. In addition, keep an eye out for a new upcoming Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report which, using data from CDC’s State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System, will describe trends in overdose deaths with evidence of counterfeit pill use during July 2019–December 2021 as well as characteristics of deaths with and without counterfeit pill evidence during 2021.
The AHRQ Academy has several resources related to overdose available. They include the Substance Use Tools & Resources Collection, and a Topic Brief on Polysubstance Use providing a brief overview of the available research addressing polysubstance use in a primary care setting, with a focus on leveraging an integrated behavioral health team. For specific action items you can use to make a difference on IOAD in 2023, see a recent post from the National Safety Council.