Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Proclaims Aug. 31 Overdose Awareness Day in Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 29, 2014  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

Observance highlights message that overdose deaths are preventable

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed Aug. 31 as International Drug Overdose Awareness Day in Kentucky, highlighting the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

“Although we’ve taken numerous bold steps to battle substance abuse and addiction, it is critical to continue educating the public and raising awareness about the problem, which has exacted a devastating toll on many of our families and communities,” Gov. Beshear said.  “I look forward to working with the legislature during the 2015 session to improve the support and enforcement systems to prevent overdoses of heroin and other drugs.”

Gov. Beshear noted that during his administration, the Commonwealth has advanced resources to treat addiction, including the expansion of coverage for mental health and addiction therapies mandated under the Affordable Care Act, and the increase in substance abuse treatment programs like Recovery Kentucky.

A recent report by the Office of Drug Control Policy indicated the total number of overdose deaths in Kentucky stayed steady in 2013.  The report indicates 1,007 overdose fatalities in 2013, compared with 1,004 identified in the 2012 report.

International Drug Overdose Awareness Day originated in Melbourne, Australia, in 2001, and is held every Aug. 31 to raise awareness of overdoses and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death, especially for those mourning the loss of family member or friend.