August 28, 2023
The WRAD Health building in Merri Street will turn purple on August 31 to recognise International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) and remember without stigma those who have died or become permanently injured due to overdose.
It will also highlight effective harm reduction strategies, including Naloxone.
AOD Clinician Anna Pike said WRAD Health was using IOAD to increase awareness of preventable death, including those due to prescription medication.
“The Australian institute of Health and Welfare records prescription opioids as the most common drug class present in drug-induced deaths over the past decade,” Ms Pike said.
However, Ms Pike said many of these deaths could have been avoided by using Naloxone that became available with no prescription needed from July 1, 2022.
“Naloxone is for anyone who may experience, or witness, an opioid overdose or adverse reaction,” Ms Pike said. “The person will still need emergency help but Naloxone can give emergency services more time to get to the person. Naloxone is a safe and effective medication that now comes in a nasal spray.”
Naloxone is available from WRAD Health and pharmacies but many don’t realise it’s life-saving potential.
“Most people don’t know about Naloxone,” Ms Pike said. “We pass on the information to people who attend WRAD Health with opioid use problems, but it isn’t well known in the community.”
“The biggest overdose numbers in Australia are from prescription opiates. Many people don’t realise how easy it is to overdose on prescription medication so it is important to have access to Naloxone.”
WRAD Health also provides Naloxone education sessions for interested community members.
People who may benefit from Naloxone or harm reduction or know someone who may benefit from the medication can reach out to WRAD Health on 55645777 or at 172 Merri Street, Warrnambool.
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New report highlights alcohol concerns
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WRAD HEALTH’s vision is to advance the health and wellbeing of those in the South Western Region of Victoria affected by Addictive behaviours and to promote optimal enjoyment of life.
WRAD HEALTH seeks to provide comprehensive, holistic support and treatment to individuals and others affected by addictive behaviors and associated issues.
The philosophy of harm minimisation underpins the delivery of all programs offered by WRAD HEALTH. This principle recognises that people in our society use both licit and illicit drugs, and that drugs can be used in ways that are more or less harmful to individuals, families and society. Harm minimisation offers a number of options designed to reduce the harm of drug use to the user and society.
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