Today, August 31, 2016, marks the International Overdose Awareness Day. Members of parliament and family members of those who lost their lives due to overdose gathered today to honor the memory of the departed and try to come up with better solutions to the drug problem.
The purpose of the day is to raise awareness on the matter of drug overdose and reduce the stigma that is usually associated with deaths by overdose.
In 2015, over two hundred individuals died due to an illicit drug overdose. Prescription medication made even more casualties.
Martin Foley, Mental Health Minister, declared that this day should be used to focus our attention on the friends and family that drug abusers leave behind. The other victims of death by overdose, those left behind to fight for overdose prevention.
“We must ensure our harm reduction efforts fit together to reduce the impact of illicit drug use as much as possible,” Foley declared.
The state government of Victoria invests over $17 million yearly in various initiatives meant to minimize the harm that is associated with drug abuse, this including overdoses.
Foley also declared that a new investment program would launch soon. It will include, among others, hotspots throughout Greater Geelong, Melbourne, Brimbank, Greater Dandenong, Yarra and Port Phillip.
The workers in these centers will be individuals who have experience with drug use and abuse and are able to identify the individuals who are at risk. Moreover, the specialized personnel will be able to offer their help to individuals who are not at ease with mainstream support systems.
Furthermore, the government declared that it would offer its full support to the Penington Institute who will be in charge of examining emerging models meant to reduce the incidence of fatal overdoses and other repercussions of drug use.
Earlier this year, government spokespersons announced that they would be introducing a new system of prescription monitoring – real time monitoring.
This new system will be supported with an investment of approximately $30 million. The money will be used to create a program that allows pharmacies, medical clinics, and hospitals to identify individuals who seek prescription drugs during the early stages of their addiction.
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