LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day and Lake County Behavioral Health Services would like to recognize all of those lost to drug overdose and those struggling with addiction.

Overdoses are life-threatening. Last year, 105,258 people died due to overdose in the United States. Tragically, 79 were Lake County residents.

Overdose Awareness Day is a solemn reminder of the devastating impact overdose has on our communities, and brings awareness to the risks of illicit drug use.

This day of remembrance encourages communities, health care professionals, policymakers, and each of us to bring an end to prevent overdoses, related injuries and deaths.

Education and harm reduction make a difference

Lake County Behavioral Health Services finds education and harm reduction are among the best tools to help prevent overdoses.

Recognizing potential signs of an overdose can help save a life. Signs of overdose may differ based on the substance consumed, but common symptoms include difficulty speaking, lowered heart rate, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, immediately call 911.

Last year, alone, almost 90,000 of those who died from overdose had fentanyl in their system. Fentanyl is a potent and dangerous drug, and can be found in a variety of other narcotics. Many who die from fentanyl overdose do not know they have consumed fentanyl.

Narcan (Naloxone) saves lives

Narcan is a medication used to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdose by blocking opioid receptors in the brain. Narcan is safe, effective and can be life saving! It has no significant effect if opioids are not in the treated individual’s system. Narcan can be prescribed by a medical provider or obtained free through SafeRx.

Please contact Sarah Weber, an AmeriCorps Vista serving with SafeRx, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you’d like more information on obtaining a free Narcan kit.

Free International Overdose Awareness Day event planned for Aug. 19

SafeRx will host a free event in observance of International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 19 at Austin Park in Clearlake, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to create posters to honor loved ones lost to overdose and receive education and training on how to administer Narcan.

Those who complete this training can also be provided Narcan, increasing the chances this life-saving drug will be available where and when it is most needed.

This is also a great opportunity to meet staff from a variety of local organizations engaged in harm reduction work and substance use disorder treatment, such as Lake County Behavioral Health, SafeRx, and Tribal Health.

Struggling with substance abuse? Help and support are available

Lake County Behavioral Health is committed to raising awareness of the signs of overdose, risks associated with substance abuse, and the critical need for those at risk of overdose to seek help and support.

Please contact Lake County Behavioral Health Services offices to find out more information regarding harm reduction strategies and treatment options. Behavioral Health staff can be reached at the North Shore (Lucerne) office, 707-274-9101, or the South Shore (Clearlake) clinic, 707-994-7090.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, call the 24-hour crisis line, 800-900-2075.

If someone close to you is experiencing an overdose or other physical and/or behavioral health-related medical emergency, immediately call 911.

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