Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 30 in June designating Aug. 31, as Ohio Overdose Awareness Day to raise public awareness and to remember the lives lost to the epidemic.
Unintentional drug overdose is one of the leading causes of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes. According to RecoveryOhio, in January through November of 2020, there were 4,579 unintentional drug overdose deaths reported. This is a 24% increase over 2019. Ohio’s medical and first responder communities attribute the increase primarily to fentanyl, a highly addictive and dangerous opioid.
Earlier this year, state officials approved $2.5 million to rapidly deploy 60,000 doses of naloxone to 23 counties struggling with a high burden of overdoses. Governor DeWine, RecoveryOhio, ODH, and OhioMHAS are encouraging all Ohioans to consider carrying naloxone to help save a life.
“Naloxone has proven to save lives. By getting it into the hands of communities and groups across the state in areas that are experiencing the most overdoses and deaths, we are putting this life-saving opportunity where it is needed most,” said Governor DeWine.
DeWine ordered that the flags of the United States and the State of Ohio be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout the state from sunrise until sunset on Aug. 31.
To learn more about Ohio’s work to address opioid addiction, visit recoveryohio.gov. If you or a loved one need help for a substance use disorder, please call the Ohio CareLine at 1-800-720-9616 for free, confidential assistance from a trained counselor.