Today is International Overdose Awareness Day and I am dedicating my post to honor the memory of all those who were lost to overdose and the parents who are grieving them.
Friends, I started this blog almost a year ago as a means to share my grief journey with those of you who were also hurting due to the loss of a loved one. My daughter, Melanie lost her life to the disease of addiction and as a result I have met hundreds of bereaved parents along this road.
If you have not had this disease touch your life directly I imagine you know someone who has. Regardless of the way your loved one died, grief is still grief, and loss is loss. We all hurt the same and miss our loved ones.
In August 2020 it was recorded that 81,000 people lost their lives to drug overdose during the previous 12 months. This was the highest number of deaths on record ever in our country. Now here we are one year later, and today that number has increased to 96,000 lives lost.
Today, on International Overdose Awareness Day I want to bring awareness to what is an often-overlooked disease in our country.
Did you know that Substance Use Disorder is in fact an actual disease?
Are you aware that the disease of addiction touches people of all backgrounds, despite race, religion, education, or social class? People from all walks of life have suffered from substance abuse or known someone who has.
People who suffer from substance abuse are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends to many. It is up to us to make strides to reduce the stigma associated with substance abuse and bring about education and healing.
Today the Governor of the State of Georgia, along with at least 16 other States, has issued an Executive Order to fly our flags at half-staff to honor the life and memory of individuals who passed away from drug overdoses.
This is a great, but small step in the right direction. However, there is still much work left to be done.