We support International Overdose Awareness Day
SIDC, the first association to provide harm reduction services in Lebanon, established the harm reduction program in the year 2000, which aimed to reach several key population groups such as People who use Drugs, LGBTQ+, and Men who have sex with Men and Female sex workers, and their partners or peers.
Since establishing this program, SIDC has been working to raise awareness about overdose. In order to reduce the harm caused by criminalizing overdose cases, SIDC has launched several campaigns on how to handle such cases in hospitals and not call the police, as well as raising the voice to compel hospitals and emergency rooms to receive overdose cases as patients having full rights of health, protection and confidentiality.
In 1996, SIDC was the first association to work on developing and reforming the Law on Drugs abuse.
In addition, in 1997, SIDC was the first association to launch community-based awareness programs that adopts peer to peer education, and field workers to introduce community interventions addressing PWUDs, LGBTQ+, MSWs and FSWs.
Furthermore, SIDC is still working with the Ministry of Public Health and other local organizations in Lebanon, to increase the availability of Naloxone to people who use/inject drugs, their families, rehabilitation centers and pharmacies.
Why celebrate IOAD?
The International Overdose Awareness Day that falls on August 31st, is an occasion to spread awareness about many issues such as the drug policies, the availability of Naloxone in Lebanon, stigma and discrimination about overdose and spreads the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death and that drug overdose is preventable.
The goals of International Overdose Awareness Day are:
- To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones in a safe environment, some for the first time without feeling guilt or shame.
- To include the greatest number of people in International Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement.
- To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose.
- To send a strong message to current and former people who use drugs that they are valued.
- To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
- To provide basic information on the range of support services that are available.
- To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
- To inform people around the world about the risk of overdose.
SIDC stands in solidarity with people who use/ inject drugs and believe that they should not be criminalized and they have the right to access of treatment and support.