“Too many lives end in overdose, becoming a statistic in the nation’s fight against illicit drugs and abused medications like opioids.
Since 1999, nearly 841,000 people have died from a drug overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2019 alone, 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States.
Behind every number is a face. Each digit is a person with dreams and heartache, who laughed and cried, who loved and was loved.
International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 was created to remember those who have died over the years and to acknowledge the grief of their family and friends. It is a global day to shine a spotlight on overdoses.
To raise awareness about overdoses, we talked with Brendan Burke, a Substance Use Specialist at DAP Health. He is a registered counselor with a RADT I certification. Below is our discussion, edited for clarity and length…”

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