East LA Observes Overdose Awareness Day

Providing important overdose awareness information at East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital were: Claudia Gamez, clinical educator (left), Mary Del Valle, director of clinical education (seated); and Lynette Martinez, patient navigator (right).

Some 57 individuals stopped by a table set up in the cafeteria of East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital Aug. 31 to learn about a hot topic:  overdose awareness.

International Overdose Awareness Day is observed in August each year to raise awareness about drug overdose, remember those who have lost their lives to overdose, reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.

According to Mary Del Valle, director of clinical education for East LA, nearly all those who stopped by were employees.

“Employees shared their stories regarding their family members, they asked questions, and they were surprised at the large numbers of people who have died due to overdose—109,680 in the United States in 2022,” she explained.

A few family members stopped by to ask questions and share their own stories regarding their family members who were substance users.

“We had tributes from family members of people who have died from OD posted on our display board, which employees read, and they were touched by the tributes and the statistical data,” Delvalle added.

Educational material provided explained how to respond to an overdose. Steps include waking up the individual, calling 911 and using Narcan nasal spray.