Today is overdose awareness day. The HCLU has dedicated a special movie to this day.
The movie is not simply about commemorating those who have passed, nor is it about shaming or blaming. The film highlights the fact that deaths due to overdose are preventable using cheap and effective methods that do not stigmatize or criminalize people who use drugs. We focus on a pragmatic harm reduction tool that can prevent lethal overdoses: naloxone distribution. Naloxone has been shown to be useful in the reversal of central nervous system depression induced by overdoses of opioid drugs such as heroin. This means that if you provide access to this medicine for injecting drug users and train them how to use it, you can prevent a significant proportion of otherwise non-preventable deaths in this community. So why are there so few cities where Naloxone distribution and overdose prevention trainings are readily available to drug users? There are many legal and political barriers to the use of Naloxone, for example in many countries it is a prescription drug only to be used by doctors or emergency staff. We know that Naloxone has no known abuse potential, there is no way you can get high from Naloxone – on the other hand it can save lives. We hope this movie will convince and mobilize professionals, activists and politicians to get rid of the prejudices and remove the barriers from Naloxone distribution.