Today marks International Overdose Awareness Day, the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdoses, remember those who have sadly passed away, and acknowledge the grief of family and friends left behind.
The campaign also aims to remind people that overdose is preventable.
September is National Recovery Month which aims to raise awareness and hope for recovery.
Eve MacLeod, health improvement specialist at NHS Highland, said: “It is important that everyone is aware of overdoses; we can make a contribution and help prevent drug-related deaths. One way for everyone to do this is to download the Highland Overdose Prevention and Engagement (HOPE) app.
“The free app contains information on how to recognize an overdose and what to do in the event of an overdose.
“Recognizing an overdose can be difficult. If you’re not sure, it’s best to treat the situation as an overdose – you could save a life. Call 999 immediately.
TIP: Use naloxone, if available. Don’t leave the person alone.
- Signs of an overdose may include:
- Small constricted “point pupils”
- Fall asleep or lose consciousness
- Slow, weak, or no breathing
- Humming, choking or gurgling noises
- soft body
- Cold and/or clammy skin
- Discolored skin (especially around the lips and fingernails)
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose of opioid medications, such as heroin. Is it easy to use and details on how to get naloxone can be found in the HOPE app.
In support of International Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Month, the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership organized awareness messages to be shared on Moray Firth Radio, and the Highland Alcohol and Drug Advice and Support Service (HADASS) organized the illumination of the Ness Bridge in purple. , the color of Recovery Month.
Debbie Stewart, Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership Coordinator, said: “Preventing overdoses and reducing drug-related deaths is a priority and there are a range of initiatives currently underway at Highland.
“These include; a naloxone program which will include peer dispensing, an overdose alert system with the ambulance service, drug treatment standards, targeting those at high risk through housing d First, multi-agency prevention and review groups and overdose awareness routinely offered to people with access to drug and alcohol recovery services.
“Nevertheless, we recognize that more needs to be done and we will work closely together locally and nationally to do all we can to prevent overdoses and reduce drug-related deaths in the Highlands.”