The Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance (SNHRA) is hosting its fifth International Overdose Awareness Day event between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 31 at Chuck Minker Sports Complex 275 N. Mojave Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89101. The event provides an opportunity for participants to acknowledge the loss of friends and loved ones to fatal drug overdoses and will include a panel discussion with community members discussing their overdose-related experiences. A naloxone (Narcan®) training will be offered, and attendees will have the opportunity to pick up overdose prevention kits.
Registration for this year’s event is available at https://ioad2021lasvegas.eventbrite.com. SNHRA is requiring participants to provide proof they are fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of the event. For additional information about SNHRA or the Overdose Awareness Day activities, visit www.facebook.com/SoNVHarmReductionAlliance/.
International Overdose Awareness Day seeks to acknowledge those who have died or suffered permanent injury, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths and to raise awareness about overdose prevention and drug policy.
Based on preliminary mortality data from the Southern Nevada Health District’s Electronic Death Registry System, there have been 560 drug overdose deaths among Clark County residents in 2020, and opioids (prescription and illicit) accounted for 67.9 percent of the deaths. While drug overdose deaths in Clark County increased 34 percent from 2019, opioid-related deaths in Clark County have increased by 61.7 percent in 2020 to 380 deaths compared to 235 deaths in 2019. The death rate was the highest in the 89101 ZIP code at 86.9 deaths per 100,000 residents. Fentanyl continues to be a significant public health concern in Clark County and is driving the increase in opioid-related deaths.
The Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance (SNHRA) is composed of public health professionals, HIV providers, addiction specialists, syringe exchange programs, homeless service providers, substance use prevention community coalitions, recovery advocates, and health care representatives. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of people who use drugs by reducing drug-related stigma, overdoses, and the harmful effects of drugs among Southern Nevadans regardless of their circumstances. SNHRA also provides education and resources about reducing substance misuse and unintentional overdose deaths, as well as reducing the risks of acquiring or transmitting bloodborne infections. Each month, the Southern Nevada Health District, in conjunction with members of SNHRA, provides testing for HIV and hepatitis C, sterile syringes, and homeless services. In February of 2017, the first comprehensive needle/syringe exchange program in Clark County began operating at Trac-B Exchange, a member of the Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance. In addition, there are five syringe vending machines placed within service provider organizations.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.