Executive Director Letter
August 2, 2022
According to provisional data from the CDC, of the more than 93,000 reported drug overdoses in 2020, more than three-quarters were attributed to opioids. Additionally, in 2019, there were more unintentional overdose deaths in the workplace than in any other year since data collection began in 2011. International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held August 31 each year to remember those who died untimely from drug overdose (National Safety Council).
As citizens and artists, employees and employers, our communities are all affected by the lives that are destroyed and lost due to drug use, not to mention the despair that drives addiction. To help mitigate the impact of drug traumas and facilitate a successful healing process, creative practices are often used.
We also want to support the important work that first responders and healthcare professionals do in emergency situations, so the GBCA staff will join a virtual naloxone training provided by the Baltimore City Health Department Overdose Prevention Team. This training is part of the city’s “Don’t Die” campaign to reduce the stigma of addiction, promote substance use disorder treatment, and educate the public on how to recognize and respond to an overdose with the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone.
You can easily get this training as well. The Baltimore City Health Department Overdose Prevention Team provides free naloxone training, as do Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties. You can find information through the following links:
Some people are marking the entirety of August as Overdose Awareness Month. Baltimore nonprofit, Love In The Trenches (LITT), introduced ‘Undo the OD,’ an initiative that supports local establishments in helping to decrease the number of overdose deaths. Under ‘Undo the OD,’ LITT will supply local bars, restaurants, schools, and libraries with Narcan nasal spray, free of charge (Baltimore Fishbowl). Take a moment to explore ways that you can help.
All my best,