(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that Ohio will observe the state’s second annual Overdose Awareness Day on Wednesday, Aug. 31 and begin recognition of September’s Recovery Month. Established in 2021 by Senate Bill 30, Ohio Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise public awareness and remember the lives lost to the ongoing national opioid epidemic.
As part of this year’s observance, RecoveryOhio today announced the creation of Naloxone.Ohio.gov, a new resource that provides Ohioans with a simplified process for obtaining free naloxone, a life-saving drug used to reverse an opioid overdose. The new website makes requesting naloxone as seamless as possible for all Ohioans, whether they are a first responder, community member, or distribution site, and enhances access to prevention and treatment information.
“Overdoses impact us all,” said Governor DeWine. “We know that naloxone is a critical tool in Ohio’s fight against addiction and, ultimately, makes our communities safer. I encourage Ohioans to use Naloxone.Ohio.gov and carry naloxone.”
To help local communities promote Overdose Awareness Day, leaders from Governor DeWine’s RecoveryOhio initiative, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) have created an Ohio Overdose Awareness Day Toolkit. The toolkit includes social media graphics and posts, videos, posters, and digital ads that can be used by local communities and organizations to raise awareness.
“Our Overdose Awareness Day toolkit features real Ohioans who have shared their stories in order to help others know that recovery is possible,” said RecoveryOhio Director Aimee Shadwick. “They remind us on this day, and every day, to honor the memory of those we have lost and join in solidarity with those who are bravely working toward recovery.”
The toolkit also aims to educate Ohioans on what to do in an overdose situation and how to get help for someone struggling with addiction.
“We can help prevent overdose deaths by being aware of the signs, knowing how to respond, removing stigma, and ensuring help is visible and accessible for every Ohioan in need,” said OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss.
“Knowing how to respond in an emergency can save lives, and it is our goal that these resources be widely shared in communities across Ohio,” said ODH Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, whose agency coordinates Ohio’s naloxone distribution efforts through the Project DAWN initiative.
In recognition of Overdose Awareness Day, state flags displayed at all state buildings and public institutions will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset. Read Governor DeWine’s proclamations for Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Month on RecoveryOhio.gov.
Visit RecoveryOhio.Gov for more information, including a list of how Ohio communities plan to observe Ohio Overdose Awareness Day.