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Home » Uncategorized » YSAPC reminder: International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31

YSAPC reminder: International Overdose Awareness Day is August 31


Friday, August 27, 2021; Silver City, NM: The Youth Substance Awareness and Prevention Coalition (YSAPC) of Grant County wants to remind the community that Tuesday, Aug. 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day.

This past year has been one of profound loss, not only from the COVID-19 pandemic but also from those who have lost a life and suffered a loss due to overdose.

YSAPC recently participated in a Recover Resource Card disbursement opportunity funded by the New Mexico Department of Health Overdose Prevention Project. This opportunity allowed for 5,000 cards with recovery resources to be distributed in Grant County, and the card included information on the Good Samaritan Law, which protects people calling for medical assistance, especially during an overdose.

New Mexico was the first state to pass a 911 Good Samaritan law. The law protects people who seek help for a friend or family member who is experiencing a drug overdose and call 911. Since then, the rest of nation has followed suit with laws like New Mexico’s to address the overwhelming toll drug-related overdose deaths.

According to a progress report put out in Aug. by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, “fentanyl and methamphetamine contributed to 78 percent of drug overdose deaths in the state in 2020.”

“Drug overdoses are 100 percent preventable,” said Valerie Kling, YSAPC program specialist. “There are many resources for people within the community, and that is why I thought a question and answer with Marquez would be insightful as to the resources available to combat overdoses in Grant County.”

Kling recently conducted an impromptu Question and Answer session with Roxy Marquez, the NMDOH Overdose Prevention Coordinator, to discuss the importance of National Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, 2021.

Q: Hi Roxy, can you tell the people of Grant County a little about yourself?

A: My name is Roxy Marquez and I cover all eight counties in the southwest. I help to provide technical assistance to communities regarding tools or trainings on substance use disorder. I am a certified harm reduction specialist and provide Narcan training through the region.

Q: Why do you think it is important to recognize national overdose awareness day (August 31)?

A: It is important to recognize national overdose awareness day to be able to break down the stigma associated with substance use.  Stigma only serves as a barrier for people to seek help they might need. We have a lot of people who are suffering from substance use disorder and by recognizing this day, we raise awareness and let people know, that there is help.  

Q: What can community members do to educate themselves about the harms of an overdose and how to avoid it?

A: All community members despite their profession, status, etc. should carry naloxone or have it in their home. Naloxone should be part of their emergency kit. Narcan trainings are available free of charge. Local health office provides free Narcan and training or contact me at for more information. People should also always lock up their medication, don’t share medication with someone else, and take medication as recommended.

Q:  What is Naloxone?

A: Naloxone is a medication that helps revive someone who is experiencing and opioid overdose. It is easy to use and very safe.

Q: How can community members get Naloxone?

A: Local health offices provide naloxone free of charge. You can also get naloxone from your local pharmacist without a prescription. You can also contact me at the email provided above. 

YSAPC is composed of 25 service providers and invested community members dedicated to creating an environment that cultivates healthy productive lifestyles through policy and advocacy change that promotes resilient and empowered youth. A program of the Center for Health Innovation, the YSAPC is funded by the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP).

For more information on YSAPC contact Kling at (575) 597-0025 or email:

This news release is made available by the Youth Substance Awareness and Prevention Coalition of Grant County, a program of the Center for Health Innovation, New Mexico’s designated Public Health Institute, and funded by the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP).