Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released provisional data showing there were 107,622 overdose deaths in 2021, the highest annual death toll on record from drug overdose fatalities, and a 15% increase from the year prior.
“We lost over 107,000 individuals to drug overdoses in 2021, 295 individuals each day. It’s time to double down our efforts to address this epidemic, including prevention, treatment, recovery services and awareness about the risks of fentanyl,” shared Jessica Hulsey, Executive Director of the Addiction Policy Forum.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, fentanyl was involved in the most overdose deaths in 2021.
Image source: CDC, 2022
Here are four things you can do today to help #StopOverdose.
1. Understand the dangers of fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Because of its potency, fentanyl is added to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, counterfeit pills (like xanax and adderall) to increase their addictiveness. Many people believe they are buying a certain substance and don’t realize that they are purchasing fentanyl, which often leads to overdose. There has also been a rise of overdose deaths due to these substances being laced with fentanyl.
Learn more about fentanyl from trusted sources like the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and theDrug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
2. Learn how to administer naloxone.
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses by binding to the same brain receptors that opioids do and pushing out the opioids that are causing the overdose. When someone has taken powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl, sometimes multiple doses of naloxone are needed to reverse the overdose.
Learn more about how you can obtain and administer naloxone through our Naloxone Factsawareness campaign.
3. Take the pledge to #StopOverdose.
The Stop Overdose campaign works to raise awareness about drug overdoses, the real families at the center of this epidemic, and create a national call to action. If you or someone you know has lost an individual to addiction, share their story and we will honor them on their birthday and Angel Day. By sharing these stories, we can help to end the stigma surrounding this disease.
Take the pledge today.
4. Honor those we have lost to this epidemic.
Visit www.stopoverdose.orgto read stories of individuals we have lost to overdose (sons, daughters, moms, dads, siblings and friends), written by the people who loved them most.
Read the stories.