August 31 marks International Overdose Awareness Day — the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember those who have been impacted by opioids, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.
In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, members of ICOM’s student-led Opioid Task Force, shared information with the campus community and passed out purple ribbons as a symbol of overdose awareness.
“As future physicians, we must incorporate compassion and mindfulness as we care for everyone in our community, and work as a team with community members, families, public health officials, and harm reduction services to stimulate action and discussion about evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy,” said Student Doctor Kamela Kadri, a second-year student and member of ICOM’s Opioid Task Force.
The ICOM Opioid Task Force is working in the community to provide medical student education and training for Narcan/Naloxone administration, responsible prescription practices, and compassionate care for those who use drugs. The group also works to raise awareness of fatal and non-fatal drug overdose, reduce stigma, and promote community health through harm reduction initiatives, statewide partnerships, and education.
The task force has established a partnership with the Idaho Harm Reduction Project and is collaborating with the Idaho Governor’s Overdose and Strategic Plan Workgroup. The students are currently facilitating Narcan administration training sessions, working alongside local free clinics such as Genesis Community Health, and creating a pamphlet to distribute in the community. They are also preparing informational booths for upcoming health fairs.