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Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. Help spread the word.

Communities around the world will mark International Overdose Awareness Day today, Aug. 31, remembering the many thousands who have died from drug overdoses.

The day helps bring awareness to the growing number of overdose-related deaths and the grief of those who have lost loved ones to overdose.

Overdoses are increasing, particularly now as the COVID-19 virus adds stress and anxiety to daily lives.

According to information on the International Overdose Awareness Day website, North America has the highest drug-related mortality rate in the world, accounting for 1-in-4 drug-related deaths globally.

In New Bedford, the number of overdoses each year, as tracked by the state Department of Mental Health has increased dramatically from 38 in 2014 to in 62 in 2018, the last year stats are posted.

If you can, take a moment today to consider the pain and suffering behind these numbers.

Overdoses are preventable. Join the global community in sharing this message on social media or wherever you can.

Now more than ever, we need to raise awareness and help stop these deaths.

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