International Overdose Awareness Day marked along with Drug Free Workplace PA

Pennsylvania’s Opioid Command Center encouraged all Pennsylvanians to participate during International Overdose Awareness Day, celebrated annually on August 31, in remembering those who have lost their battle with substance use disorder.

International Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Individuals along with the Drug Free Workplace PA and Recovery Friendly Workplace PA team members, joined together at the Pennsylvania State Capitol to raise awareness.  The fact is one in three families is affected by substance use disorder.

“I hope that everyone in our state takes a moment today to remember those we have lost to overdoses, and those who are struggling with substance use disorder,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “The ongoing work of our Opioid Command Center is making a difference in the lives of those suffering with substance use order and today is one day among many that we need to reflect on that work and the work of Pennsylvanians to overcome this disease.”

In recognition of Pennsylvanians lost, Governor Wolf has ordered the commonwealth flag on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff. The commonwealth flag has flown at half-staff since Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in honor of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and should continue to fly at half-staff until further notice. The United States flag is to remain at full staff. All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.

“In support of all overdose victims, I encourage all Pennsylvanians to pause in reflection and make a commitment to our loved ones and our communities to help eliminate the stigma associated with SUD,” said Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith. “We must continue to share our struggles, losses and achievements. In doing so, we open the door for others to seek help and find hope.”