Toxic drugs have claimed more than 10,000 lives in BC since the declaration of the public health emergency on April 14, 2016. Six British Columbians die every day from unregulated drugs.

This year, we mark International Overdose Awareness Day with a continued sense of grief, urgency, and hope that stigma and failed drug policy will become a thing of the past.

Observed on the 31st of August every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create a better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use. Overdose can affect anybody and one of the messages of this day is that the people who overdose are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters – they are loved, and they are missed. No family should ever have to go through the pain of losing a loved one because of an overdose.

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