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August 31, 2022: Overdose Awareness Day

WHEREAS, International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized globally on August 31 to raise awareness about the risks of overdose, honor the individuals whose lives have been lost, and acknowledge the grief felt by families, friends and the community; and,

WHEREAS, Overdose Awareness Day aims to publicly challenge the stigma associated with substance use disorders and overdose; and,

WHEREAS, in 2020, 2,738 individuals died from a drug overdose in Michigan and, of those deaths, 79% were opioid-involved, representing 22.5 deaths per 100,000 people; and,

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan launched a naloxone portal in January 2020 to get Narcan into the hands of those most at risk of a fatal overdose. The portal provides no-cost, mail-order naloxone to community organizations statewide. To date, the portal has distributed over 280,000 naloxone kits across Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, in 2020, naloxone administrations were 14.8 per 1,000 patient encounters according to Emergency Medical Services; naloxone continues to be highly necessary within Michigan for first responders, emergency personnel, family, friends and non-EMS professions; and,

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan supported the launch of Opioid Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in 8 agencies and cover 30 counties statewide. QRTs have reached nearly 2000 individuals through outreach: education, distribution and training and referrals. Over 1500 naloxone kits have distributed; and,

WHEREAS, in 2020, the drug overdose death rates involving opioids were 1.8 times higher for non-Hispanic Black Americans than for non-Hispanic white Americans (37.9.1 vs. 21.1 per 100,000); from 2019 to 2020, the largest percentage increase in opioid overdose deaths rates were seen in Hispanic Americans (47.7%; from 15.1 to 22.3); and,

WHEREAS, in 2020, the rate of opioid overdose deaths was highest for people aged 35-44 (46.6 per 100,000), while people aged 15-24 experienced the largest percentage increase in opioid overdose death rates between 2019 and 2020 (53.5%; from 7.1 to 10.9); and,

WHEREAS, African Americans have historically lower rates of opioid misuse and opioid involved overdose deaths, growth in opioid overdose deaths among this population now outpaces that of white Americans in the United States,

WHEREAS, in 2020, over 1.4 million people in Michigan age 12 and older had used an illicit drug in the past month; and,

WHEREAS, today, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and various community networks to provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones without feeling guilt or shame and send a message of love and support to those suffering from a substance use disorder;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 31, 2022, as Overdose Awareness Day in Michigan.