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overdose awareness month

NORWALK — August is Overdose Awareness Month, with Aug. 31 being observed as Overdose Awareness Day. According to provisional data from the CDC, in 2020, 91,799 drug overdose deaths occurred (an increase of 31% from 2019) and more than 140,000 people die from excessive alcohol use in the United States each year.

Overdose Awareness Month raises awareness of overdose and stimulates action and discussion about overdose prevention. It is an opportunity to spread the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death and remind the community that drug overdose is preventable. This month also takes the time to acknowledge the profound grief felt by families and friends whose loved ones have died or suffered permanent injury from a drug overdose.

• What is an Overdose?

An overdose means having more of a drug (or combination of drugs) in your system than your body can cope with. There are a number of signs and symptoms that show someone has overdosed, however, these differ depending on the type of drug used. It is important to note that all drugs can cause an overdose, including prescription medication prescribed by a doctor and alcohol. Generally people do not automatically think of alcohol when they think of overdose, but alcohol is a depressant and it is possible to overdose on it. Acute alcohol poisoning, which is usually a result of binge drinking, is an example. Mixing alcohol and certain medications can also cause overdose.