Prevention tips for residents on National Overdose Awareness Day

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — August 31 is officially National Overdose Awareness day.

Since 2019, Spectracare Health has held vigils for those who have lost a loved one to a drug overdose.

Changes in behavior, an increased desire for privacy, bloodshot eyes, defensiveness are some signs to look for to identify if a loved one of yours is using drugs.

Houston County Prevention Specialist for Spectracare, Marlene Lassiter shared how death rates for overdoses have gotten worse since the pandemic began.

Due to Hurricane Ida, they canceled this year’s event but will be rescheduling soon.

Last year, overdoses hit an all-time high with 93,331 cases, according to Lassiter.

Now, the CDC reports that the death rates have increased by almost 55 percent. She encourages throwing away unused prescription drugs to take them off the streets. Spectracare has permanent drop boxes for drugs through all the counties surrounding the Wiregrass.

Prescription Drug Take-Back events are held annually in the Wiregrass. Spectracare works to give residents as many resources so they can to bring awareness to the day and prevent overdoses.

The SpectraCare helpline is available at any time. Call 800-951-HELP for more information.

The next prescription drug take-back event will be on September 10th at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Taylor Senior Center.

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