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SpectraCare Health Systems reflects on International Overdose Awareness Day

SpectraCare provides a remembrance poster and flower arrangement for the community to come together to remember those who lost their lives or had permanent injury to drug overdose
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 4:49 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - According to the CDC, more than 750,000 people have died from a drug overdose since 1999. In 2018, two out of three of those deaths implicated an opioid.

“There’s a lot of people suffering in silence because of the stigma around being an addict or being an alcoholic so we’re working to change that,” Marlene Lassiter, Associate Prevention Specialist, said.

It starts at home. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 70 percent of those who misuse opiod prescription drugs get them from a friend or family member. It is important to store prescription drugs in a safe and secure space. SpectraCare Health Systems recommends a lock box or a locked cabinet out of reach and sight of guests and children.

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. SpectraCare Health Systems and their facilities go purple to signify their commitment to education about the dangers of drug misuse.

“It is to recognize families who have lost loved ones due to a drug related death, to pay respect to those families and it’s also to raise awareness and break the stigma associated with drug related death and addiction,” Lassiter said.

According to the CDC, 128 people die from an opioid overdose each day.

“We want people to be mindful of prescription drugs and how they’re taking them as well and also the illicit drugs, they’re illegal,” Lassiter said. “But always just be careful especially with prescription drugs because just because its prescribed by a doctor you know doesn’t make it safe.”

SpectraCare Health Systems offers roughly 55 programs for individuals who seek help; from substance abuse services to community outreach programs.

“We offer inpatient treatment as well as outpatient treatment for addition and also mental health services,” Lassiter said.

If you or someone you know seeks help call the SpectraCare care lines at 1(800)-951-HELP. The line is open 24/7.

If it is an emergency, please dial 911 to seek immediate help.

For more information about International Overdose Awareness Day click here.

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