Ontario Recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day

Published on August 31, 2020

August 31, 2020

Health

TORONTO — Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, issued the following statement on International Overdose Awareness Day:

"The COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult for many Ontarians, and especially trying for those living with mental health and addictions challenges. Today, we are joining people around the world in recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day - a day to help raise awareness of overdose, learn about the signs and symptoms, and to break the stigma around drug-related death.

The reality is that overdose can affect anyone in Ontario. They could be our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, or our friends and colleagues. Today is an opportunity for Ontarians to share experiences, stories, learn more about the available mental health and addictions resources, including harm reduction and treatment services, that are offered in every corner of the province, and to help spread the word that overdose is preventable.

Over one million Ontarians experience a mental health or addictions issue every year, and we know COVID-19 has presented us with new challenges. Together, we can all play an important role in helping prevent overdose and assist those who may be struggling with addiction during these unprecedented times. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health or addiction challenge, there are a wide variety of publicly-available programs, resources and supports, with no out-of-pocket costs. Please visit this website to find a list of free, confidential mental health and addictions supports that meet your unique needs. 

Today, we encourage every Ontarian to help us mark International Overdose Awareness Day by joining the conversation. Help us raise awareness by talking to your family, friends and colleagues, and by engaging with others on social media. Use the hashtag #IOAD2020 throughout the day, and let's make a positive difference together."