Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. Each year on this day I create a special post specifically dedicated to honor the memory of all those who were lost to overdose and the parents who are grieving them.
My daughter, Melanie lost her life to the disease of addiction. Before that I never knew such a day existed. Sadly, this is the 3rd year I have been a member of this group that no one ever asks to join, and have met hundreds of other 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 grief and loss is loss. We all hurt the same and miss our loved ones.
In 2020 when I first learned about International Overdose Awareness Day it was recorded that 81,000 people lost their lives to drug overdose during the previous 12 months.
Now, 2 years later this number has increased to over 107,000!
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 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.