across Dumfries and Galloway will be lit purple to mark International Overdose Awareness Day on the 31stst August. It is in remembrance of those who have died due to overdose and to acknowledge the grief of families and friends left behind.
Throughout August, the Alcohol and Drug Partnership and drug and alcohol support charity We Are With You ran local awareness stands around Dumfries and Galloway, as well as other key partners such as Dumfries and Galloway Recovery Together and Alcohol and Drug South West Scotland’s Being There. crew.
These pop-ups took place in Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, Sanquhar and Thornhill, with a final pop-up on Friday the 26th August in Langholm and Annan.
Pop-ups have been used to raise awareness of the upcoming International Overdose Awareness Day, spread risk reduction advice, provide education on the use of naloxone to treat overdoses and refer people to other services in Dumfries and Galloway.
31st In August there will be three commemorative events at We Are With You in Stranraer, We Are With You in Dumfries and the Lochside Specialist Drug and Alcohol Clinic in Dumfries.
Information packs on overdose awareness, harm reduction and contact information for local helplines will be available at these locations.
Friends, families and members of the community are encouraged to tie a purple ribbon at these locations to remember those who have lost their lives to drugs. Ribbons will be available at each location.
An online tribute wall has been created to allow those who have lost a loved one, whether a friend, family member or professional who worked with them, to write their memoir or online tribute. The link to this tribute wall is: www.memorialboard.wixsite.com/overdoseawareness
Penny Halliday, Independent Chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership, said: ‘We have already highlighted the continuing rise in the number of people dying from fatal drug overdoses.
“We are running a campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day to remind all of our communities once again of the devastating impact of every death and to remember those who lost their lives in this way.
“Across the region, we want to recognize the deep grief felt by families and friends whose loved ones have died or suffered permanent injuries from drug overdoses. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost loved ones. »
“At the same time, we would like to remind people who use drugs and their families of the essential things they can do to reduce the risk of overdose and to go to www.stopdgdrugdeaths.co.uk for more information.”
The steps include:
- Don’t take drugs alone – most suspected fatal overdoses involve someone taking drugs alone. Taking drugs alone increases the risk of a fatal overdose because there is no one to call for help in an emergency.
- Do not take a combination of medications, medications that were not prescribed, and/or medications that may have been purchased over the internet. This includes alcohol and prescription drugs. Mixing medications greatly increases the risk of overdose, especially if you are not sure what they are or what effect they will have.
- Do not try new substances, increase or decrease the amount of drugs or alcohol taken on a regular basis, without the help of your GP or drug and alcohol treatment service. If you try new substances, try a very small amount first, so you know how it might affect you.
- Get a naloxone kit. Naloxone is a drug that temporarily reverses the effects of an overdose of heroin or other opioids and gives someone time to seek emergency help. Friends and family can also get a naloxone kit.
- Dial 999 immediately if you think someone is overdosing or if you are not feeling well after taking medication. When a person has overdosed, they may look like they are just asleep. snoring can be an indication that the person has difficulty breathing. Always check when you hear snoring that the person is actually sleeping.
Friends and family are also asked to help by encouraging loved ones to follow these steps and encouraging them to seek help either from their GP or local drug and alcohol treatment services.
The message of the Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership is echoed and supported by the Dumfries and Galloway Local Resilience Partnership, through its members: Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership; NHS Dumfries and Galloway; Council of Dumfries and Galloway; Police Scotland; Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway; Scottish Fire and Rescue Service; Scottish Ambulance Service; and Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership.
Further information on other websites and local drug and alcohol services that can help, as well as further more detailed advice, can be found on the Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership website at the address www.stopdgdrugdeaths.co.uk