An overdose means having more of a drug (or combination of drugs) than your body can cope with. An overdose can happen to anyone. All drugs can cause an overdose, including prescription medication prescribed by a doctor.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that show someone has overdosed, and these differ with the type of drug used. It is important to know the right amount and the right time to take your medication. It is also vital to know what drugs should not be mixed and to seek help if you feel you are not in control of your drug use.

International Overdose Awareness Day is Monday, August 31. This global event aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce 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 because of a drug overdose. It is a time to remember those we have lost to a drug overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose death is preventable. Opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed in recent years. Of the 70,980 drug overdoses that occurred in 2019 (a rise of 4.6%), more than 50,042 involved opioids, according to data from CDC.

The Parker Gill FoundationHopeMovement and Natural State Recovery Centers are encouraging Arkansans to observe International Overdose Awareness Day. This year on Monday, August 31, participants will meet at the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge at 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR at 7:00 p.m. to observe Overdose Awareness Day. Individuals who have lost someone from an overdose will join together with individuals in recovery to stand united on the bridge to pay tribute to the lives lost and to share the hope of recovery as the bridges of Little Rock are lit purple at sunset. Jimmy McGill will lead the convocation and State Drug Director, Kirk Lane will offer remarks before sunset.

The Can You See Me Now banners featured on Wake Up Central will be on display. This campaign, started by an Arkansas mom in 2019, has grown to include 2700 faces of individuals from across the United States that have lost their lives to overdose. The number of faces continues to grow as new faces are added daily.

“Addiction touches the lives of many Americans, and these deaths are completely preventable,” Christopher S. Dickie, CEO of Natural State Recovery, said in an August press release.

“International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity for those who have lost loved ones to remember and reflect. It is also a time to reduce stigma and prevent future deaths by supporting education and advocacy efforts.”

COVID-19 Statement: CDC and ADH guidance will be followed. Social distancing and masks are strongly encouraged. Hand sanitizer will be available. Please be safe.