Nebraska designates this week as raising awareness of drug overdoses

Springfield overdose numbers continue to increase according to Springfield Police Department,...
Springfield overdose numbers continue to increase according to Springfield Police Department, Mercy(ky3)
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 8:23 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - This week has been designated as Drug Overdose Awareness Week by Gov. Pete Ricketts. It comes as overdose deaths continue to rise across the country and here at home.

In 2021, there were more than 107,000 overdose deaths in the United States, an increase of about 15 percent from the year before, according to the CDC.

Nebraska Drug Overdose Awareness Week is an effort to educate everyone on the severity of drug overdose while also remembering those who have been impacted. Stop Overdose Nebraska is also taking the time to show the benefits of the life-saving tool, Narcan, which is available to Nebraskans at no cost.

“Narcan is a way to revive someone from an opioid overdose,” Amy Holman with the Nebraska Pharmacist Association said. “Right now, so many things are laced with fentanyl, which is why it’s so important for people to have Narcan whether it’s someone actively using or your friend or loved one who may have an opioid disorder.

There were 138 overdose deaths in Nebraska in 2018. Fast forward to 2020 and there were 209, with roughly 35 percent being opioid related, according to Stop Overdose Nebraska.

The state has a number of resources for anyone experiencing drug abuse and addiction. Stop Overdose Nebraska is a resource with a number of ways you can get help as well as more information on life-saving tools like Narcan.

“It’s one of the subjects that sometimes people don’t want to talk about, so I think just having this week for people to be able to take part in different things and to be educated, to hear people’s stories make that stigma not such a big thing,” Holman said. “Just being able to see other people have gotten through it and there is hope on the other side of it.”