How to Support Overdose Awareness Day
You can help prevent overdoses and stop the stigma of substance use disorder
By: Jackie Polk, recovery advocate
If you asked me six years ago how I thought I’d die, I would have said, “a drug overdose.”
When I was in active addiction, I experienced multiple overdoses that could have easily ended my life. I’m grateful every day that they didn’t, so I can share my story of recovery and hope with others who struggle with substance use.
International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is this week, and it got me thinking about the fact that I was almost one of the hundreds of people who die every day from a drug overdose.
There is so much stigma surrounding drug use and mental health issues – and that stigma can be deadly. If we can’t talk openly about substance use, how can we hope to prevent overdoses?
As an advocate for sobriety and recovery, I share my experience of addiction to raise awareness and encourage others not to struggle in silence – substance use impacts so many people and there is no shame in getting help.
Help Prevent Overdoses and End Stigma
If you want to help fight stigma and prevent overdoses, here are some steps you can take:
- Educate Yourself. Take the time to learn about substance use disorder and strategies for prevention, recovery and treatment. Listen to people who have struggled with drug use and try to understand their experiences without shame or judgment.
- Raise Awareness. Talk to your friends and family about substance use and overdose. If you’ve experienced addiction, consider sharing your story to help others know they are not alone.
- Support Recovery. Show your support to people in treatment and recovery. Even little things like removing triggers such as leftover prescription medications from your home can help support their recovery journey.
I use social media to share my story, spread hope and connect with others around sobriety and recovery.
Share Your Story
It’s so hard to see the road ahead in the midst of despair and heartbreak. It took years of healing before I could appreciate my journey and muster the courage to share it.
We can’t let stigma stand in our way – there’s too much at stake. Together, we can help #endoverdose.
About the Author
Jackie Polk is a social media influencer, entrepreneur, mother and recovery advocate. As a passionate promoter of sobriety and recovery, Jackie has amassed nearly 36,000 followers on TikTok (@jackiepolk) and over 13,000 followers on Instagram (@itsjackie_polk). She lives with her husband and two sons in Oklahoma.
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