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Held annually in an effort to lessen the continued stigmas associated with addiction, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is tomorrow, Thursday, August 31st.
Initially held in 2001, IOAD began after two community members in Australia hoped for a way to honor those that had passed from drug overdoses. Those community members, Sally J. Finn and Peter Streker, handed out ribbons and organized other demonstrations of support. Since then, the event became widespread, and is now commemorated across the world.
In 2015 alone, drug overdose was listed as the cause of death for more than 50,000 Americans. Although official data for 2016 and 2017 has not yet been made available, persistent trends indicate that figures continue to rise. Millions of families know the true devastation of drug addiction—many of whom have lost children, siblings, and parents to this insidious disease.
Leading organizations such as the CDC now believe drug overdoses to be the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.
IOAD serves as a resource for the public, and sends a message to the larger community. Across the world, drug overdose rates have risen in recent years. With so many countries struggling to combat the epidemic, it is evident that events like IOAD incite unity during a time when grieving individuals can feel alone in the world.
The official color of support for IOAD is silver, and rallies are held worldwide.
On Thursday, two of RECO’s team members will join the advocacy group The Addict’s Mom in Washington, D.C. to partake in an organized march on Washington and other events intended to spread awareness of addiction and IOAD.
Chris Pasquale and Brian Greenblott will proudly represent RECO as they spread a message of hope—and honor the lives of those we have lost to addiction.
Other members of RECO’s team will show their support from home, and will participate in a rally held on the campus of Florida Atlantic University.
To learn more about IOAD, visit here.
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