Forward Leeds will be sharing advice and information on what to do in the event of an overdose for International Overdose Awareness Day.
International Overdose Awareness Day is on Saturday the 31st of August and Forward Leeds are using this to help members of the public to spot an overdose and understand what to do next.
Forward Leeds will have displays and posters in their hubs across the city and they will also be sharing messages on social media. The service is working with local pharmacies and health centres as well, all to raise awareness of what someone should do if they suspect an overdose.
Dr. Paul Bamber of Forward Leeds said: “It can be really difficult to know if somebody’s overdosed. The chances are if you’re thinking it, they probably have, so it’s essential that you take a closer look. You might notice that somebody has gone quiet and it’s important that you don’t assume that they’ve fallen asleep.
Dr Bamber continued: “There are three things you need to do. One, call an ambulance and tell them it is an overdose situation. Two, put them in the recovery position. Three, if you have a naloxone injection give it. Even if you know why somebody as overdosed most life-threatening overdoses are a combination of drugs and naloxone can be life-saving.
“It’s a common misconception that you’ll get into trouble if you call an ambulance, particularly if you have used drugs yourself, but the ambulance crews primary concern is the health and wellbeing of the patient They are not there to judge, criticise or inform the police.”
Forward Leeds offers training on overdose awareness to people who use the serivce and to partner organisations across Leeds. They also issue free naloxone kits to their clients and their families and friends that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opiate overdose.
All week for International Overdose Awareness Day Forward Leeds have had memorial books in the reception areas of its hubs in Seacroft, Armley and Kirkgate in the city centre. Local people who have lost friends and family members because of drugs and or alcohol have been invited to enter names and tributes in the books.
International Overdose Awareness Day 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. There were 4,359 deaths relating to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2018.