Overdose Awareness Day Resources

end-overdose. Overdose awareness day
Lighting-a-candle. overdose awareness day
no-more-stigma. overdose awareness day

Overdose Awareness Day, August 31, 2022


Thank you for joining us as we observed this International Overdose Awareness Day by taking some time to acknowledge overdose as a public health issue, work to prevent overdose through harm reduction, and process the grief and loss we feel for family and friends lost to overdose.

The event has passed but this website will continue to hold resources on how to obtain Naloxone in Orange County, resources for those grieving overdose loss, and some resources for the community to learn about the scope of the overdose epidemic.


Where to get Naloxone in Orange County
Grief Resources
Overdose Crisis in North Carolina


Where to get Naloxone in Orange County:

If you or a person you spend time with is an opioid user, it can be useful to have a Naloxone (name band Narcan) kit available to reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone works by blocking the opioid receptors and reversing the overdose. Narcan kits are available in a nasal spray (most common) or injectable and come with instructions and training.

Orange County Health Department

Offers free Naloxone kits and training by appointment at 2 locations:  Call (919) 245-2400 for an appointment.      

  • Whitted Human Services Center, 300 West Tryon Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278 Tuesday 9:30-6:30, Friday 8:00 to 12:00.
  • Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 Monday 8:00-5:00, Wednesday 10:00-5:00, Thursday 8:00-5:00.
  • https://www.orangecountync.gov/1780/Overdose-Prevention

Orange County Emergency Services    

If you are over 18 you can request a Narcan kit from any active Orange County ambulance.

Orange County Detention Center

There is a vending machine in the lobby of the Orange County Detention Center that dispenses free Narcan to the community. The vending machine is located in the lobby of the Orange County Detention Center at 1200 US-70 West, Hillsborough NC (across from the DMV) and is available to the public 24 hours/day.

The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition

The NCHRC offers Naloxone for the following groups of people: active IV drug users, people on medication-assisted treatment, people who are formerly incarcerated with a history of opiate use, people engaged in sex work or people who identify as transgender. If you fit these criteria and would like access to a kit, please contact Loftin at loftin@nchrc.org 

Lantern Project – Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department

The CJRD Lantern Project distributes Naloxone kits to justice involved individuals in Orange County. If you are a program participant, ask your social worker for a kit. If you are not a participant, contact us for information.

  • Macon Hollister: mhollister@orangecountync.gov, (336) 264-9084
  • Tauheedah White: tawhite@orangecountync.gov, (919) 969-3220
  • Allison Zirkel: azirkel@orangecountync.gov, (919) 245-2304

Local Pharmacies: You can purchase Narcan without a prescription at several local pharmacies.

 General info on naloxone access in NC from Naloxone Saves:

 https://naloxonesaves.org/where-can-i-get-naloxone/

For more information about harm reduction see our Harm Reduction Resources page.


Grief and Remembrance

According to a recently released report from the NC Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of DHHS, there were an estimated 372 suspected overdose deaths in NC this past May (2022) compared to 297 in May 2021 (an 8% increase).*  That is, on average, 12 lives lost each day during the month of May.   

In addition to focusing on prevention strategies and reducing stigma associated with drug use and overdose, International Overdose Awareness Day is a day to remember the lives of those we have lost to overdose and to acknowledge the grief experienced by their families and friends.  

Because of the unfair stigma surrounding drug use, people who are grieving the loss of a loved one to overdose often lack the support and care they need and deserve.  However, we can choose to validate their grief and acknowledge the unique pain that can accompany losing someone to overdose by listening without judgment and creating supportive spaces for them to express their feelings.

For Overdose Awareness Day 2022 in Orange County, we invite members of the community who have lost someone to overdose to visit our Grief and Remembrance Booth, where you are welcome to share stories about the individual(s) you have lost, add their names to a memorial board, and light candles to commemorate their lives.  

Here are some local and online resources to support those who have lost someone to overdose:

Local Resource (Duke Health): https://www.dukehealth.org/treatments/home-care-and-hospice/bereavement

https://harmreduction.org/issues/grieving-overdose-zine-your-grief-matters-and-so-do-you/

Call 988: Suicide and Crisis Lifeline https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/988

https://www.hospiceandcommunitycare.org/wp-content/uploads/Losing-a-Loved-One-to-Drug-Overdose.pdf

Read tributes on the International Overdose Awareness Day website: https://www.overdoseday.com/read-tributes/

Post a tribute on the International Overdose Awareness Day: https://www.overdoseday.com/post-a-tribute/

*https://injuryfreenc.dph.ncdhhs.gov/DataSurveillance/Overdose.htm

Overdose Crisis in North Carolina

NCDHHS Overdose Epidemic

"From 2000-2020 more than 28,000 North Carolinians lost their lives to drug overdose. This epidemic is devastating families and communities. It is overwhelming medical providers and is straining prevention and treatment efforts." https://www.ncdhhs.gov/about/department-initiatives/overdose-epidemic 
North Carolina Reports 40% Increase in Overdose Deaths in 2020 Compared to 2019; NCDHHS Continues Fight Against Overdose Epidemic

North Carolina Health News: A nationwide problem, worse in North Carolina

"More than 100,000 people across the country died of overdoses between April 2020 and April 2021. Over that period, the nationwide overdose death rate rose 27 percent.  In North Carolina, it grew by 37 percent."

https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2021/12/02/drug-overdoses-a-nationwide-problem-worse-in-north-carolina/