International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31, 2021, which celebrates its 20th anniversary of raising awareness for drug overdoses and reducing the stigma of drug-related deaths.
According to preliminary federal data from the National Vital Statistics System, fatal drug overdose deaths increased approximately 38% in Colorado from 2019 to 2020. This is the largest increase in Colorado overdose deaths since 2000 and is worse than the U.S. average increase of 29%.
Opioids, such as heroin, oxycodone, morphine and synthetic fentanyl account for the largest increase in deaths, up 54% from 2019. Overdose deaths from methamphetamine and other stimulants increased 50% in Colorado as well as a 62% increase in the number of deaths from cocaine overdoses.
Overdose death were highest in Rio Grande, Las Animas and Alamosa counties in rural southern Colorado in 2018-2020. (source: coloradonewsline.com)
Treatment options for substance use disorders (SUDs) include outpatient treatment, resident treatment and inpatient hospitalization. Medication assisted treatment in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies are effective in treating SUDs and can help some people sustain recovery.
PLEASE consult your primary care provider, behavioral health provider at a community mental health center or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-4357 if you or someone you love is suffering from SUDS. If you witness or are close to someone who has actively overdosed, please call 911 ASAP as time is vital to save their life!