2023 International Overdose Awareness Day

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International overdose awareness day holds a special place in our hearts at Hansei Solutions, as many of our founders and leaders have been in the addiction and mental health field for decades. Some of Hansei’s leaders have embarked on their own journey to recovery, while others have stood alongside family members and friends facing these challenges.

This short article highlights the importance of International Overdose Awareness Day, why Hansei Solutions values this day, the scope of substance abuse and drug overdose deaths across the globe, and what you can personally do to raise awareness.

What Is International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is on August 31st and is the world’s largest yearly campaign to raise awareness, prevent, and end overdoses across the globe. This year’s theme is  “recognizing those who go unseen” and is focused on individuals and communities heavily affected by overdose but receive much less value, resources, and advocacy.

First hosted by annual community events in Melbourne, Australia, by the Penington Institute, IOAD spread across the globe in 2012 as the United States, Europe, and Australia struggled with the opioid epidemic. To this day, IOAD has helped:

  • Provide opportunities for people to post tributes for family members and loved ones lost to overdose, so they can share their stories and help others reflect on drug abuse.
  • Help those with substance use disorders or addiction in recovery know they are valued and cared for and their stories are heard.
  • Inform and provide resources about the risk of drug overdose, addiction, and substance abuse.
  • Provide information on substance abuse and overdose prevention support services and treatment methods, such as naloxone, syringe services, medication-assisted therapy, and more.

Read more about Mental Health Month: Miles For Mental Health

International Overdose & Addiction Treatment Rates

Since 1999, more than one million people have died from a drug overdose, with more than 100,000 deaths recorded in 2021 alone. Synthetic opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone, have been involved in more than 75% of all overdose-related deaths. When you factor in how many people are currently using illicit substances in 2021 (62.2 million), the need for more awareness is evident.

how hansei is helping

How Hansei Solutions Is Helping

Hansei Solutions is helping support International Overdose Awareness Day by educating the public, payers, insurance organizations, and politicians. For example, we formed the MHN Coalition of the Willing as part of our Rehab Owners Community as a response to Managed Health Network terminating contracts for behavioral health facilities in California. Our goal is to help treatment centers draft response letters and push their needs by educating California residents, payers, providers, and politicians through targeted PR approaches.

Words From Our Team

Our team members and leaders are also voicing their stories on recovery and efforts to go above and beyond for patient coverage and provider rights.

“I’ve been sober for almost six years now and my mom for eight; I attribute so much of that to the community I built during my journey to sobriety; I was guided to make better choices and supported when I couldn’t support myself. I had a friend vouch for me when I was looking to get out of direct client care work. Despite my criminal record, I was beyond fortunate to land a job at Hansei, where I’m still today.” – Jessica Wyman, Utilization Review Specialist.


“I am proud to work with people who are just as passionate about patient advocacy as I am. Our team is made up of many compassionate, dedicated individuals who go above and beyond daily for patient coverage and provider rights.” – Cathy, Health Information Manager.

Read more: Women Leaders At Hansei Solutions

How you can help

What You Can Do To Raise Awareness

Raising awareness helps break down the stigma toward addiction and substance abuse, helping those who struggle to feel heard or cared for. When individuals freely talk about substance abuse and recovery methods, the feelings of shame and isolation fall into the background. Things you can do to help raise awareness and spread the message of International Overdose Awareness Day include:

  • Posting on social media: Post on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to remind your network about the upcoming IOAD, using hashtags such as #IOAD23, #EndOverdose, and #weseeyou. This link will bring you to the CDC website, where you can find premade IOAD posts.
  • Donate: Financial support is just as important as vocal support, and even a few dollars can help advocates and providers spread the word and increase and improve their support services. This link will take you to the IOAD page, where you can find information on how to donate to the Penington Institute.
  • Sign up for events: Follow this link to sign up for in-person and virtual events near you.
  • Post a tribute: You can post a tribute to a loved one lost to a drug overdose here.

Contact Hansei Solutions

If you want to know more about Hansei Solutions and our efforts to help behavioral health facilities improve and expand their services, call today. One of our specialists can explain our medical billing and revenue cycle management solutions and how our advocacy efforts are dedicated to helping all our clients, not just one. We can also set you up with a demonstration of our electronic health records software and how it can streamline your patient management solutions.

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