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International Overdose Awareness Day

Release Date: July 28, 2021

Overdose Awareness Day Logo

International Overdose Awareness Day - August 31, 2021

The County of Sussex invites you to join us in participating in International Opioid Awareness Day on August 31, 2021.  

The following statistics are reported in the most recent World Drug Report 2021, issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (World Drug Report 2021, United Nations publication)

  • Drug use killed almost half a million people in 2019, while drug use disorders resulted in 18 million years of healthy life lost, mostly due to opioids.
  • Opioids account for the majority of drug-related deaths and in most cases such deaths are avoidable.
  • North America (3.6 per cent) has the highest prevalence of opioid use, and Europe has the lowest (0.8 per cent).
  • The number of opioid users worldwide has nearly doubled over the past decade, with the increase in the last few years mainly driven by new estimates in Asia and Africa.
  • North America has seen a spike in opioid overdose deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
  • Roughly 50,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the United States in 2019, more than double the 2010 figure. Fentanyl and its analogues are now involved in most of the deaths.

The County of Sussex is deeply concerned about the opioid crisis and its impact on residents, especially now due to the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic.  The County is successfully operating an Overdose Fatality Review Team (OFRT) that meets quarterly as one way to address this ongoing problem. 

Modeled after a similar program in Maryland, the goal of the Sussex County Overdose Fatality Review Team is to ensure that everything that can be done to prevent overdose deaths in the future is put into place by reviewing fatal overdose cases and looking to see if there were any gaps in the possible interactions with victims. 

The team develops data to assist in making recommendations for improvement, considers policy changes, and identifies opportunities to provide services missed or anything that may help prevent another person's fatal overdose.  Sussex County is one of several counties in New Jersey with an OFRT and the first to conduct a review through a secure virtual meeting.

The County of Sussex continues to seek ways to prevent drug and alcohol addiction through programs, grants, and Municipal Alliance initiatives.  If you are interested in participating in your local Municipal Alliance or would like more information, please contact Nick Loizzi at the Sussex County Office of Substance Abuse and Alcohol Services by calling (973) 940-5200, ext. 1383 or via email at