A time to remember, a time to act

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People in Tayside are being invited to attend the ‘Time to Remember, Time to Act’ event in Dundee, as part of International Overdose Awareness Day.

The public event, which has been organised by the alcohol and drug partnerships in Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross, aims to raise awareness of the preventative actions being undertaken across Tayside to reduce the number of deaths related to substance misuse.

The findings of the annual ‘Drug Deaths in Tayside (2015)’ report will also be discussed during the event on Wednesday, August 31, at the Dundee Steeple Church, Nethergate. The annual report shows that there were 48 confirmed drug deaths in Tayside in 2015.

During the ‘Time to Remember, Time to Act’ event, interactive zones will be available to raise awareness, highlight risks and offer education on the support available for people who use drugs, and their families across Tayside.

The free event, which is being held between 2pm and 5.45pm, is open to the public and refreshments will be available in the pop-up Recovery Cafe.

A remembrance ceremony is also planned at 4.30pm to provide an opportunity for everyone affected by overdose the chance to remember their loved ones.

NHS Tayside Director of Public Health Dr Drew Walker, who will be officially launching the event, said: “Substance misuse is a major public health issue at national level and remains a priority for NHS Tayside and Alcohol and Drug Partnerships across Tayside.

“The number of drug deaths locally has fluctuated over the past few years, however there has been a concerning rise in the past decade and a great deal of work has been going on to address the problem.

“This has included development of overdose awareness training and the take home Naloxone programme, improvements in communication and prescribing practice amongst practitioners and service development work within the Alcohol and Drug Partnerships to develop recovery orientated systems of care that include early intervention for children of parents affected by substance misuse.

“The members of the Tayside Drug Death Review Group will continue to closely monitor the situation and work to reduce and prevent these tragic deaths.”

Naloxone is a drug which can be used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose to help save a life while medical help is sought. The naloxone programme is available for those directly at risk, as well as their family and friends or carers. NHS Tayside staff and their partner agencies provide training to people at risk and their families, with the person’s consent, before naloxone is supplied.

International Overdose Awareness day is a global event held on 31 August each year, which aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. The day highlights the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

For more information on International Overdose Awareness Day, visit the website: http://www.overdoseday.com/

You can also access information on what support is available in Tayside at:

The Angus Alcohol and Drugs Partnership webpage at www.angus.gov.uk/angusadp

The Dundee Alcohol and Drugs Partnership webpage at www.dundeepartnership.co.uk/content/alcohol