El conocimiento y la concienciación deben ir de la mano con el desmantelamiento de estructuras opresivas que cuestan vidas. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo. 

By Louise Vincent & Matthew Bonn / FilterMag

very year we come together to remember the lives that have been lost due to overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized and marked around the world, and has been happening since 2001 in Australia. We’re grateful for that.

But what about every other day of the year? Every day 190 overdose deaths happen in the US and 11 a day in Canada. Where is the fucking daily outrage? Can anyone really think that commemorating the millions of lives lost worldwide to this systematic drug war just once or twice a year is adequate?

One thing we can tell you is that it is not drug-user communities that need to be made aware of overdose deaths. How can we not be aware of the misery this brutal, racist, repressive international governmental structure imposes? We have constantly experienced the harms done to ourselves, to the loved ones we have lost, to our friends who are forced, every day, into environments and practices that put their lives on the line.

Policymakers urgently need to be stripped of their often-deliberate ignorance.

Instead, it is US and Canadian policymakers (like those in so many other countries) who urgently need to be stripped of their often-deliberate ignorance of what is happening on the streets amid multiple public health emergencies.

“Pandemic” has been one of this year’s most-used words. But a better one to apply to people who use drugs is “syndemic,” which refers to the presence of two or more diseases that adversely interact with each other.