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Another Voice: On Overdose Awareness Day, remember the lives lost

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International Overdose Awareness Day is a global annual event held on Aug. 31 to raise awareness of the devastating loss of life from overdose.

The day of commemoration, which was created in Melbourne, Australia, in 2001, is a chance to reduce the stigma of death due to drug use, and an opportunity to acknowledge the unimaginable grief felt by families, friends and communities for these unnecessary and untimely deaths.

It is a time to remember those we have lost.

Prior to the pandemic we were making progress to decrease the number of deaths by overdose, but we unfortunately are back where we started. In Erie County overdose deaths increased by 57% in 2020 over 2019; the national average was 30%.

On a more personal note, I’ve been affected by this in my family, and Aug. 31 is a special day as we celebrate the birthday of someone we lost to a drug overdose.

I also personally know others who lost loved ones the same way. We know that gut-wrenching feeling of death at an unexpected and untimely moment. We also know the stigma, the questions, the........

© The Buffalo News

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