International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31 each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.
“The message is that strong painkillers and alcohol are a potentially deadly cocktail, so don’t mix them”, said Dr Nick Tupper, Chair of Doncaster CCG.
Nationwide people have died through either overdosing or mixing strong prescription painkillers with alcohol. Last year there were 160 admissions to the Doncaster Royal Infirmary through accidental overdose at a cost of £200,000 a year to the taxpayer locally.
To help tackle the issue the two public organisations are raising awareness using radio advertising and posters across the borough.
Councillor Pat Knight, Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “If you take prescription painkillers do you know how strong the medication you are taking is? If you take more than the stated dose you could be putting yourself at risk.
“You can hand back any of your unwanted tablets and pills at any time by visiting your local pharmacy. Pharmacists will also be highlighting the dangers of mixing alcohol with strong medication.”