If your community hasn’t been hit by the opioid epidemic, count yourself lucky. As most funeral directors, counseling centers, churches, and even businesses know, the rate of addiction and overdose deaths across the country has been skyrocketing for 10+ years now. August 31st is overdose awareness day. It is a day to remember the lives lost to this epidemic and to raise awareness for this crisis in your community. As usual, we know it can be hard to find time for all the different awareness days, weeks, and months that are out there. But this is one we think is pretty important and we would guess is impacting, either directly or indirectly, many of the families that you serve. So today we have a couple of quick resources to help you out. If you haven’t planned an event already, it may be a little late now. But you can do the following:
Know the overdose awareness day events happening in your community.
You can find a listing of events happening around the world here. If you are having an event that you haven’t registered yet, make sure you add it to the list.
Post on social media.
Luckily the wonderful folks at the international overdose awareness day website have a great online toolkit that does the work for you. You can find free and easy to use social media images, posters, and fact sheets below:
- Social Media Graphic Memes
- New A3 Text Posters
- New A1 Text Posters
- Event Organisers’ Support Kit
- Campaign Logos and Use Guides
- #EndOverdose Resources
- A4 Fact Sheets
- A3 Fact Sheet Posters
- Social Media Memes
- Campaign Posters
Send a card to the families of those you served who lost someone to overdose.
So there isn’t a Hallmark Overdose Awareness Day card (that I know of) but a nice “thinking of you” card with a personal note can go a very long way. Consider sending your families something to know that you are thinking of them this overdose awareness day.
Make a contribution to a substance abuse clinic or rehabilitation program in your community.
Working to support the families whose lives have been devastated by an overdose death is undoubtedly your primary job, but don’t forget how much it means to families and the community when they see your funeral home working to combat this epidemic. Make a donation to those helping to prevent overdose deaths and substance use disorders in your community.
Start planning for next year.
If you didn’t plan an event for this year, we understand! There are so many things to do and the August 31st date often creeps up on us at the end of the summer. But if this is a day you would like to recognize with an event, start your planning for next year now. Email some people, place someone in charge, and get the ball rolling for next year!
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