A new website has been launched for the #StopTheDeaths initiative, which provides information on how to take part and this year’s activity.
SDF have offically launched www.stopthedeaths.com on the 31st of August in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day – a day to remember those affected by a preventable and fatal drug-related death – in a call to refocus energy and conversation on preventing drug-related deaths in Scotland.
In 2018, 1,187 people lost their lives to a preventable drug overdose.
Each of these tragic deaths impacts on individuals, families, communities and the nation – this cannot be accepted or allowed to become a ‘new normal’.
Scotland needs to prioritise this issue and take actions evidenced to prevent deaths. These actions involve all stakeholders – people who use drugs, their families and communities as well as services and policymakers.
The problem and the solutions belong to us all.
You can help us spread the #StopTheDeaths message – “Drug deaths are not inevitable, we can prevent drug deaths” – through a number of means which are all on the new website. From sharing a post on social media, to taking a picture or wearing a badge.
Last year, Scottish Drugs Forum launched #StopTheDeaths to raise awareness of the rising toll of drug overdose deaths in Scotland and focus efforts to prevent these tragedies. In 2019, #StopTheDeaths focuses on the role of treatment services and what they can do to prevent overdose deaths.
SDF’s Policy Officer, Austin Smith, said:
“Last year we were delighted and almost overwhelmed by the response to the launch of #StopTheDeaths
“I believe that positive response shows that stakeholders across Scotland are concerned about drugs overdose deaths in Scotland – and the lives of people at risk. This concern is a basis to build an adequate response. Every day people in Scotland – people who use drugs, friends and families and the wider community; services that work with people who use drugs and policy makers make decisions and take actions that prevent drug deaths. #StopTheDeaths is an encouraging and empowering message to all of those people and to the wider public in Scotland.
“This year we make the same statement – We Can Prevent Drug Deaths – and encourage people to continue doing what they do and even increase their efforts to prevent deaths.
“This year we also have a particular focus on drug treatment services. If treatment is to be effective, it has to protect people from death. Drug treatment has the potential to protect people from overdose risks – there are great examples of this happening across the world …and in Scotland. As part of the focus on treatment, we describe how treatment can be made accessible, acceptable and high quality in order to allow people to more fully protect themselves from the risk of fatal overdose.”