Outreach Recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31

August 31, 2022

Agency Experts Available to Speak with Media

Richmond Hill, NY (August 31, 2022) – Outreach joins communities around the globe today to remember those who have been lost or have suffered from drug overdose. Observed at this time every year, International Overdose Awareness Day seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.  

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent World Annual Drug Report, nearly half a million people worldwide died because of drug use in 2019. Overdose deaths in New York City alone increased by 44% from 2,939 in 2019 to 4,233 in 2020 at an average of nearly 12 resident deaths every day during 2020. Early reports for 2021 reveal further, staggering increases in overdose deaths here in New York and across the globe.  

“It’s important that we raise awareness of the overdose epidemic. Together we must put an end to this crisis. The human toll is too great. Overdose impacts everyone – those that suffer from substance use disorders as well as their children, family, friends, and community,” says Outreach’s President and CEO Debbie Pantin. “At Outreach, we are doing all we can to address this crisis by offering whole-person and comprehensive behavioral and medical care for individuals using drugs and their loved ones. Our evidence-based programs and services are needed now more than ever.”  

For more than 40 years, Outreach has been a leader in treatment for substance use and addiction. We offer an array of evidence-based, culturally competent, person-centered, and stigma-free drug and alcohol treatment services to adolescents, families, adults, veterans, bi-lingual and formerly incarcerated individuals at our 11 state-of-the-art treatment and wellness centers in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Our services are accessible to anyone who needs them, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, immigration or insurance status, or ability to pay.  

The agency also hosts one of New York’s leading training and licensing programs for substance use counselors, the Outreach Training Institute, preparing the next generation of substance use and addiction treatment experts. To learn more about our programs and services, visit our website at opiny.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  

For Reporters: Outreach is your source for background information and firsthand insight into substance use and addiction. Our staff are nationally recognized experts who can explain the impact of the overdose epidemic and offer an insider’s perspective on new developments in treatment and care for substance use disorders and addiction. We have evidence-based resources on substance use. Contact us for background information or to set up an interview.  

# # #