on August 31, 2022 by Staff in headlines, Comments Off on Overdose Death soar in Denver

Overdose Death soar in Denver

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) is taking part in International Overdose Awareness Day today on August 31, the day to remember the victims of overdoses – by reminding the community of the numerous essential services for those who are dependent on substances, and their family and friends.

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held annually on Aug.31 that aims to raise awareness of overdoses and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. It also aims to honor the loss that family and friends feel as they remember the loved ones they lost.


“International Overdose Awareness Day is a time to remember those in our community who we’ve lost to overdose, acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind, and recommit to ending the stigma of drug-related deaths,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Through treatment, harm reduction and support we can reduce the toll of overdose on our families and in our community.”


Numerous events are scheduled across the state, including events in Denver on the Harm Reduction Action Center (1:30-4 p.m. at 112 East 8 Avenue). Avenue). Denver City and County Building Denver City and County Building will also be lit purple on Aug. 30-31 to commemorate the day.


The number of fatal overdoses continues to rise in Denver, especially those linked to fentanyl, which is a potent synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and has the potential for causing overdoses that have a faster onset and more difficult to treat as compared to other opioids. There were 473 drug-related deaths that occurred in Denver’s City as well as the County of Denver in 2021 was 473; which was compared to 370 for 2020, and 215 by the time of 2019. The percentage increase in deaths due to drugs from 2019 to 2021 was 110%, and fentanyl-related deaths experienced a 308% increase over the same time frame.


As Denver’s public health agency, DDPHE has a number of ways to lower the number of overdoses in our communities, including harm reduction programs as well as innovative methods the city has adopted for combating the opioid epidemic.


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