The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) urges Veterans and their family members to learn about overdose prevention and seek help for pain management and substance use on International Overdose AwarenessDay Aug. 31.
VA’s “Don’t Go it Alone” campaign continues the agency’s efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of overdosing and encourages Veterans to get help.
“Opioid overdose is the most common type of overdose,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Knowing the signs and symptoms of overdose and resources available for assistance can reduce drug-related deaths, and we encourage Veterans to get information about pain management and substance abuse treatment at their local VA medical facility.”
As part of its International Overdose Awareness Day efforts, VA is highlighting four key program areas:
- Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution: help to prevent overdose and understand the safe use of opioids.
- Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUD) Locator: VA’s specialized SUD treatment.
- Drug “Take Back” Program: VA will “take back” Veterans’ unused and expired drugs.
- Veterans Crisis Line: 24/7 help line for Veterans in crisis.
The department’s Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program is available for free to patients at risk of an overdose. As of June 30, VA has dispensed naloxone to more than 190,000 Veterans and documented 610 overdose reversals.
VA also provides effective, scientifically proven non-opioid pain management and substance use treatment for eligible Veterans, including complementary and integrative medicine, individual and group therapy.
On International Overdose Awareness Day, during Suicide Prevention Month in September and throughout the year, VA urges Veterans to learn more about suicide prevention and drug overdose, managing pain without opioids and substance abuse treatment. For immediate help call the VA Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1 or text to 838255 for help.