International Overdose Awareness Day

Time to Remember, Time to Rebuild

On August 31, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership honors International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to unite as a reform community, honor those we’ve lost, and pledge to do better as a society.

Overdose death is preventable. So why are people still dying?

It’s because our criminal justice system isn’t prioritizing the right things. We shouldn’t be locking people up for using drugs. We shouldn’t be treating addiction as a criminal justice issue, treating people who struggle with addiction as worthless or hopeless. We need to address overdose prevention practically and with compassion.

At LEAP, we’re lucky enough to work with many, many law enforcement experts who believe there’s a better way. LEAP speakers want to rebuild the trust between police and community, protect the vulnerable, and see people get access to the resources they need. We care about public safety, and we know treating people who use drugs as if they're inhuman doesn’t make anyone safer: not that person, not their community, and not the police. We want people to be able to reach out for help without fear. And we believe that the public sensing compassion and community from those who are protecting them is an important part of making this situation better. Here are just a few of our speakers sharing, in their own words, what they think are the most important factors in overdose prevention.