Today (Wednesday) marks International Overdose Awareness Day which is a campaign to reduce the stigma on drug use and to raise awareness.
B.C. has lost more than 10,000 people to illicit drugs in 2016 and so far, in 2022, 1095 lives have been lost.
This is according to data released by the BC Coroners Service earlier this month.
Inter-professional Team Lead for the Smithers Care Clinic Bart Newman said that a big part of International Overdose Awareness day is grief.
“I think it [International Overdose Awareness Day] provides us with the resolve to continue to try to get the message out about how to use more safely and so I think in some ways it makes us feel that we need to continue the work of informing people on how to prevent overdoses,” he said.
Newman added that it is important that education is provided on recognizing what an overdose looks like and how to prevent overdoses.
“I really hope that we can get word out and educate people and that overtime when we have this day come up each year we’re feeling like we can move forward and we’re making progress,” he said.
Additionally, Newman also said if anyone is using alone to use the Lifeguard or Be Safe app and to learn how to administer Naloxone.
This is the 21st year where International Awareness Day is being recognized.