International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD)

Talks and tributes for overdose awareness day

Service users across the five hubs of North Yorkshire Horizons were able to get information on how to spot an overdose and save a life.

Talks, displays and even quizzes were set up as part of International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). The event also commemorates those who have died of an overdose and seeks to reduce the stigma of a drug-related death for those left behind.

There were additional social media messages and posters within the hubs to back up workers’ efforts.

Horizons’ Jenna Wing said of the efforts in Harrogate: “We had some fantastic comments from our clients. Many felt they had learnt really useful information which could save a life. One client told me that the memory tree (pictured) that we set up which allowed service users to write down their memories of people they had lost to addiction, was very moving.”

As well as a display in the reception area, upstairs in the group room the team had brought in food for an appetising buffet.

Jenna said: “Clients were invited in to eat and have a go at a myth-busting overdose quiz which really got everyone thinking, staff included. Prizes were given out to all who participated.”

The memory tree was in a second room and a third had staff demonstrating how to administer naloxone and providing kits for clients.

Jenna added: “This event was an opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives through overdose and their families and to raise awareness of overdose prevention, treatment and support within our community.

“We were particularly keen to raise awareness of the Take-Home Naloxone (THN) scheme which is supported by the Local Authority, Police and Ambulance Service.”

Marking IOAD at the Skipton hub, four clients attended a Basic Life Support Training session.

Sue Mcinnes, Assessment and Engagement Worker, said: “We provided refreshments of a selection of soft drinks, tea, coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit. Three people joined a discussion and training around the use and administration of naloxone and two kits were issued.”

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