International Overdose Awareness Day

WHEREAS, started in 2001 and recognized annually on August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event to remember those who have lost their lives to drug overdoses, to raise awareness of overdoses, to reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends; and

WHEREAS, in 2020, over 93,000 individuals died the United States from drug overdoses, including 504 individuals here in Maine; and

WHEREAS, the state of Maine has distributed over 90,000 doses of the life-saving drug Naloxone to date, resulting in over 2,500 lives saved; and

WHEREAS, there are now available in the State many types of treatment for substance use disorder, as well as robust harm-reduction activities and recovery support programs; and

WHEREAS, as part of the state’s OPTIONS program, there are now behavioral health specialists in all sixteen counties reaching out to people using drugs and connecting them with harm-reduction services or pathways to recovery; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented stress on Maine people of all ages, leading to increases in alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, and other risky behavior; and

WHEREAS, as we have seen global solidarity and shared responsibility with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also respond globally to reduce the harm associated with illicit drug use;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that I, Janet T. Mills, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby recognize August 31, 2021 as

International Overdose Awareness Day

throughout the state, and I and encourage all citizens to take part in activities and observances designed to remember those we have lost, to increase awareness of drug overdoses, and to join the global effort to reduce the death toll associated with drug overdoses.

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