Per yesterday’s post, tomorrow is International Overdose Awareness Day. To help with the awareness, we wanted to share some statistics and a video via our site to help develop awareness of substance use and overdoses. These statistics come from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

If you or someone you know struggles with substance dependency, I’d encourage you to simply go talk with a counselor. If you are not sure where to find one, talk with your insurance company for a referral for who they cover. If that’s not possible, use this services locator.

Here are some facts for substance use that may hit strong.

  • Signs of a drug overdose include: shallow breathing or not breathing at all, snoring or gurgling sounds (this can mean that a person’s airway is partly blocked), blue lips or fingertips, floppy arms and legs, no response to stimulus, disorientation, unrousable (can’t be woken up) unconsciousness.
  • More than 40 thousand people die every year due to a drug overdose in North America alone, 187 thousand globally.
  • In 2015, it is guessed that 183 million people use cannabis, 53 million use opioids or opiates, 54 million use methampethamines or cocaine, and 22 million use ecstasy.
  • 8 states currently allow recreational use of cannabis (marijuana and other forms), 19 others allow medical cannabis. Federally it is still illegal and because it can stay in your system for more than 30 days, it is illegal to cross state lines with it present.
  • 70% of the global burden of disease caused by drug use is attributed to opioid use. Prevention and awareness is the strongest defense.

If you need that personal connection, as well as some education on naloxone which helps with opioid overdose, watch this video.

What is your experience and thoughts with substance use overdoses?

Published by Jeremy Smith

Jeremy is the Co-Occurring Program Coordinator and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at a community mental health center. Jeremy has a history of working as a ministry director for Youth for Christ for 8 years and then working as a mental health and substance use adult counselor in Colorado and Ohio, specifically running an Opioid Residential Treatment Center.

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