International Overdose Awareness Day 2018

Waverley Care marked International Overdose Awareness Day on Friday 31st August by joining Glasgow North East Recovery Community, Scottish Drugs Forum and others at an all-day event at Bridgeton Community Learning Campus. During the community awareness event, which is now in its fourth year, our Glasgow outreach team hosted a stall offering advice and information about hepatitis C and HIV, as well as access to testing.

The team works closely with groups like North East Recovery Community, reaching out to some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people who are at risk of hepatitis C or HIV because of drug use, helping them to know their status through testing. One attendee summed up why we attend such events by saying: “[it was] good having Waverley Care attend this event as it was easier for me to access a test rather than having to travel to get one done. I also know a lot more about hep C/HIV than I did before”.

Events like this allow us the opportunity to raise awareness of recovery support at a time when the number of drug related deaths in Scotland are the highest on record. This has been felt acutely in Glasgow with the number of drug related deaths rising by more than 50% in the last five years. Many of the people we work with have first-hand experience of overdose, with some having experienced the loss of a loved one as a result.

Our staff continue to support people through the devastating experience of overdosing, and recently went through training to use Naloxone – a life-saving drug that reverses the effects of overdose. Through difficult moments, staff have been there to support people along their journey to recovery – ensuring they are able to overcome challenges to access treatment for hepatitis C and HIV.