TULSA, OK – [August 30, 2022] – The Tulsa Health Department’s Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) and Community Based Prevention Services (CBPS) program along with the Coalition Against Prescription and Substance Abuse of Tulsa (CAPSAT) are urging Tulsa County residents to help raise awareness and prevent overdose by reminding community members about the upcoming International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31.
International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remembering without stigma those who have died, and acknowledging the grief of the family and friends left behind. The day was established to honor those lives who have been lost due to an overdose.
In 2020 alone, 92,000 people died from an overdose death in the United States which was a 31% increase from the year prior, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Between 2016 and 2022, there were 641 unintentional overdose deaths in Tulsa County and 55% of these deaths took place in the home,” said THD Community Based Prevention Services Coordinator Matthew Condley. “Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 90% statewide increase in drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids. While Tulsa County has experienced an increase in overdose deaths due to Fentanyl, overdose deaths due Methamphetamine have increased 12-fold in Oklahoma and accounted for 64% of unintentional overdose deaths in the state. This is according to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health and CDC.”
CAPSAT members are calling on the community to take action and raise awareness of the dangers of overdoses due to fentanyl, opioids, and stimulants. Tulsa County residents are encouraged to speak openly with their physicians and pharmacists about their prescription medications to ensure their safe use. Additionally, coalition members urge residents to securely store prescription medications in a safe manner such as a medication lockbox. Residents should also properly dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired medications at any local law enforcement precinct or participating pharmacies. The coalition partners with local organizations to host biannual prescription medication take-back days every April and October.
International Overdose Awareness Day seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.
“Please help us on August 31st by attending a local event around you or by spreading the message of this epidemic in our communities,” said Condley.
Community members interested in learning more about CAPSAT, the upcoming International Awareness Overdose Day, and the SPF/CBPS program can contact Matthew Condley at email@example.com or visit okimready.org for local treatment, prevention, and education resources.
# # #