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Wear Purple to mark International Overdose Awareness Day

24 August 2022

Public Service Announcement

Wear Purple to mark International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. Each year, events are held around the world to raise awareness about overdose. Remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of family and friends left behind.

An overdose happens when a toxic amount of a drug, or combination of drugs, (including alcohol), overwhelms the body. All drugs, including prescribed medication, can cause an overdose. It is important to only take prescription medication that has been prescribed to you. Follow the directions on prescriptions and over-the-counter drug labels and listen to any instructions from healthcare providers.

This year, show your support by wearing the colour purple as a reminder that every life is precious and to promote open and honest dialogue about problematic substance use. An overdose can happen to anyone. Healthy conversation and accurate information about substance use can save lives.

If you believe you or someone you know may be experiencing an overdose, contact emergency services or go to your local health centre or hospital immediately. If you think someone may have used or swallowed opioids such as fentanyl, health centres and hospitals are also equipped with the antidote Naloxone. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, support is available. You can call or visit your local health centre, talk to a trusted friend, family member or Elder.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please remember that you are not alone. For anonymous support, contact:

  • The Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week).
    • Call 867-979-3333 or toll free at 1-800-265-3333.
  • Healing by Talking Program.
    • Free telephone counselling service provided by the Government of Nunavut (GN). Visit your local Health Centre for more information or email healing@gov.nu.ca.
  • GN Employee/Family Assistance Program.
    • Call 1-800-663-1142 for assistance. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Crisis Services Canada.
    • Call or text 1-833-456-4566. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Online chat available at www.crisisservicescanada.ca.
  • Youthspace.ca.
    • Call 1-833-456-4566.
    • Text 778-783-0177.
    • Online chat available at www.youthspace.ca.
    • This service is available daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST.
    • Email counselling is available by calling 250-478-8357 or toll free at
    • 1-866-478-8357.
  • Isaksimagit Inuusirmi Kataujjiqatigiit Embrace Life Council.
  • Kids Help Phone
    • Call 1-800-668-6868.
    • Live chat available at kidshelpphone.ca
    • Text ‘CONNECT’ to 686868 for a Live Chat
    • This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the RCMP, or go to your local health centre or hospital immediately.

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Media Contact:

Danarae Sommerville
Communications Specialist
Department of Health
867-975-5712
dsommerville1@gov.nu.ca