By Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD)

On August 31, the world community celebrates an important date-international overdose awareness Day. This is a global event that aims to raise awareness about overdose around the world.

The government have responded with violence, beatings, and killings of peaceful protesters. The streets of the cities were filled with rivers of people who did not agree with the existing regime. All Belarusians say that they The Eurasian network of people who use drugs (ENPUD), as always, joined the International day of overdose awareness. On this day, we remember people who died from drug overdoses, and situations when we or our friends were left alive thanks to timely assistance. The call that is the main theme of The international day of raising awareness about overdose is" Time to remember, time to act " (Time to remember, time to act). This means that we must not only remember our loved ones and all those who have died from overdoses, but also act so that our friends no longer die from drug overdoses. 

While global figures are hard to come by, the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the number of overdose deaths between 195,000-292,500 people annually. The number of overdoses in the world is growing every year. And we are not talking about one-time cases, but about an increase in the number of overdoses associated with a fatal outcome by tens of percent. Non-fatal overdoses can leave drug users with significant health problems, such as muscle breakdown, kidney failure, heart problems, seizures, nerve damage, or cognitive impairment.

Death and the negative consequences of an overdose are completely preventable. Most of the dead could have been saved if someone had been with them, if someone had known how to recognize an overdose, and most importantly, how to provide the necessary help. The infinite value of each person and the ability to save their life negates all the fears, prejudices and stigma against people who use drugs.