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media advisory – overdose awareness day, capital region rally, 8/31/18

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With seven consecutive years of increasing overdose deaths, advocates honor the lives lost from the overdose crisis, and demand action from Governor Cuomo and State Legislators.

Albany, NY: On Friday, August 31st, Capital Region advocates and families impacted by the overdose crisis will observe International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) by remembering those lost to overdose, and demand action to prevent future deaths. Speakers will focus on the prevention, treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and public health policies and interventions necessary to stop overdose deaths and drug-related harm.

The End Overdose NY campaign–a state-wide coalition of harm reduction organizations, people in recovery, families who lost loved ones to overdose, and drug policy reform advocates– will observe IOAD with direct actions throughout the state. In the Capital Region, the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice is organizing a local rally as part of the statewide campaign. Advocates are demanding the state invest in universal access to life-saving public health interventions, innovative strategies for an evolving epidemic, and public education that provides information and hope to struggling families and communities.

WHAT: International Overdose Day Rally at the Capitol
WHEN: Friday August 31st at 12:00 p.m
WHERE: West Capitol Park, South Swan St. by NY State Capitol, Albany
WHO: Capital Region residents impacted by overdose and the war on drugs and organizations working for reform, including Katal, Albany Center for Law and Justice, Project Safe Point, the Alliance for Positive Health, VOCAL-NY, Truth Pharm, Camino Nuevo, local treatment organizations, and members of the End Overdose NY Coalition

Nationally, overdose is the leading cause of death for people under 50, and the crisis is taking more lives a year than car crashes or gun deaths. In New York State, overdose now takes more lives than suicides, homicides, and traffic accidents combined. From 2013 to 2015, 7,213 New Yorkers died of overdose. The New York State Department of Health has noted a substantial increase of overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016 (data for 2017 is still being finalized).

International Overdose Awareness Day, held every year on August 31st, is used to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury because of drug overdose and stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy. The day features rallies, memorial services, candlelight vigils as well as education and training campaigns in towns and cities across the world.

To learn about the End Overdose NY Coalition visit and search #EndOverdoseNY.

To find out more about International Overdose Awareness Day visit:


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