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Editorial: Opioid crisis requires collective effort

International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31

As Canada continues to grapple with the opioid crisis, the significance of International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31) becomes increasingly poignant.

The world unites to remember those lost to overdose and raise awareness about the urgent need for prevention and intervention strategies. For a region, province and nation deeply affected by this crisis, the day serves as a reminder of the ongoing battle and collective responsibility to effect change.

The opioid crisis has cast a dark shadow, with communities in every province feeling its impact. From bustling urban centres to rural areas, no corner has been left untouched. International Overdose Awareness Day prompts us to acknowledge the lives lost, the families shattered and the urgent need for action.

Overdose deaths have surged in recent years, underscoring the need for a multifaceted response. The day provides an opportunity to commemorate those who have passed and educate the public about harm reduction strategies, access to treatment and destigmatizing substance use disorders.

Local events, memorial services and educational programs bring together diverse voices, from health-care professionals to policymakers, activists to citizens. The opioid crisis is not insurmountable, but it requires collective effort.

As August 31 approaches, Canadians must seize the opportunity to reflect on the stark realities of the opioid crisis and pledge to do more. The day is a call to action, reminding us that by working together, we can reshape the narrative, reverse the tide of overdose deaths, and create a more compassionate and informed society.

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