As Health Critic for the Green Party of Quebec, I would like to mention that today, August 31, 2020 is International Drug Overdose Awareness Day.

We tend to associate this phenomenon with marginalized audiences, but in reality it does not only concern such audiences. No, the phenomenon of overdose does not only concern marginalized people. And I can affirm this because of my experience as a paramedic. Indeed, this professional experience allows me to say that it affects everyone. Whether it’s a teenager who just wants to try something new or a senior citizen who is mismanaging their medication, we all need to be careful.

When it comes to overdose, it can be either alcohol or drugs. There are many noticeable signs and symptoms that need to be addressed quickly, such as difficulty breathing, headaches, altered level of consciousness, seizures, vomiting, etc. Whatever the signs, call the 9-1-1 emergency service, and be honest with the responders who are there to help you, not judge you.

Among the causes of overdose behaviors, there is often a lack of information about the products administered or ingested. Be aware that there are real dangers behind opioids, depressants, amphetamines and stimulants. Also, it may be due to a psychosocial problem. It is important to stay alert, to be vigilant, for ourselves and for those around us, as some of our loved ones may be suffering in silence. It is also important when suffering to open up, ask for help and accept help. No one deserves to feel bad inside.

Finally, nothing is more effective than awareness and prevention; from my professional experience I can confirm that awareness and prevention are (always) better than treatment and cure. Contact your local centers for free kits, training and documentation for all products on the market.

Let’s show our support together!


Valérie Fortier



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