The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will host an event at the Idaho Capitol Aug. 31 to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day. The event will start at 10 a.m. Mountain Time on the second-floor rotunda.
At the start of the event, Idaho Gov. Brad Little will conduct a proclamation signing ceremony and provide remarks about the overdose epidemic in Idaho. Additional speakers will include Dr. Sol Bockelie from Full Circle Health, James Rhom from Magic Valley Paramedics, and Shantel Stone and Melanie Longoria from The Waapi Kani “Cedar House” Mental Wellness and Recovery Services.
Idahoans are encouraged to attend, particularly those impacted by overdose. News media are also invited. The full event agenda is linked here.
Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest campaign to remember lives lost to fatal overdose. Communities are encouraged to gather to remember those who have died from an overdose, discuss opportunities to reduce drug-related harms, save lives, and promote healthier communities.
The purpose of this week’s event at the Idaho Capitol is to reflect on the overdose epidemic in Idaho, inspire community change to reduce overdose deaths, and provide support to families and communities impacted by overdose.
The event will feature 381 picture frames placed on the Capitol steps, each representing an Idaho resident that died from a drug overdose in 2022.
Overdose death continues to increase in Idaho. There was a 33% increase in all drug overdose deaths from 2020 to 2022.
Idaho has also seen an increase in fentanyl-related overdoses and overdose deaths. Also from 2020 to 2022, the rate of fentanyl-related overdose deaths tripled in Idaho—with approximately 49% overdose deaths involving fentanyl.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.