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National Fentanyl Prevention & Awareness Day

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Never before in history has the country seen overdose rates as high as they have been since the rise of illicit fentanyl use. With record numbers of deaths in recent years, many governmental authorities are left scrambling for a solution. Many remain unaware of just how prevalent the overuse of this potent chemical compound really is. Individuals, families, and even entire communities have been dramatically impacted by the introduction of fentanyl and its deadly side effects. One answer that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has turned to is the power of bringing awareness. It is because of this that they deemed August 21, 2022 as National Fentanyl Prevention & Awareness Day. (1)

If you or someone that you know is currently dealing with fentanyl use disorder, call Guardian Recovery today. Our highly trained clinicians are ready day or night to provide you or your loved one with the highest quality of substance use treatment available. When you call, an admissions counselor will be able to guide you through every step along the process of beginning treatment including a free, no obligation, insurance check.

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What Is the Purpose of a National Awareness Day for Fentanyl?

One of the strongest tools in the fight against this overdose epidemic is awareness. When people become aware of the severe impact fentanyl has, communities are able to begin breaking down stigmas and providing help to those who are struggling. National Fentanyl Prevention & Awareness Day’s purpose is exactly that; bringing awareness. Whether it is awareness of the treatment methods available to someone who struggles or awareness of the stories about those who have lost someone to an overdose, help is provided as more are made aware.

What Other Drugs Have a Dedicated National Awareness Day?

As society begins to feel the positive impact of awareness, many other substances and drug related causes have adopted certain days or time periods (2)of dedicated awareness. These include:

  • Substance Abuse Prevention Advocacy Day at the Capitol — February 23rd
  • National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week — March 20th-26th
  • Take Down Tobacco — March 31st
  • Alcohol Awareness Month — All of April
  • International Overdose Awareness Day — August 31st

International Overdose Awareness Day

Another powerful day of awareness is August 31st, International Overdose Awareness Day (3). This global event is dedicated to giving a voice and bringing awareness to those who have experienced an overdose or remembering a loved one who has died from an overdose. This day serves as both a memorial to those who have passed away as well as an impactful day of hope to those who still struggle with addiction.

Ways that you can participate in International Overdose Awareness Day include:

  • Encourage your workplace to participate in International Overdose Awareness Day observance activities.
  • Hold a candlelight vigil.
  • Offer an educational program, such as one related to preventing opioid use, in partnership with a local organization.
  • Provide a safe space for telling the stories of overdose victims.
  • Offer a large canvas and washable paint so survivors can add a handprint in memory of their loved one.
  • Display empty hats or shoes to represent the number of lives lost in the community.
  • Add the name of a loved one who died of an opioid overdose to the Celebrating Lost Loved Ones map.
  • Purchase or create purple wristbands, pins, shirts or other items and wear them on Aug. 31.
  • Research state and federal legislation that addresses opioid overdose prevention, and write to your representative.
  • Support NSC efforts to end the opioid epidemic by making a gift in honor of a loved one.

The Purple Ribbon

The color purple (4) was chosen as the official color of the Overdose Prevention Movement since its inception in 1989. Many show their support for this awareness movement by wearing some sort of purple attire or bracelet either on August 31st or throughout the entire month of August. The goal of this movement is intended to show solidarity and break the stigma associated with overdose.

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How Many People Die of a Fentanyl Overdose Each Year?

In the year 2021 drug overdose (5)death rates were over 100 thousand for the first time in history. Over 70 thousand of these overdoses were attributed to synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyl. This is a major increase from the less than 40 thousand deaths related to fentanyl just two years earlier in 2019.

The DEA Faces of Fentanyl Exhibit

In a continued effort to spread awareness as well as remember the urgency of the fight against overdose, the DEA displays its Faces of Fentanyl Exhibit. Located at the DEA world headquarters, this exhibit displays the submitted photographs of those who have died from a fentanyl overdose. If you would like to submit a photo of a loved one lost to fentanyl, please send their name, age, and photograph to, or post a photo and their name to social media using the hashtag #JustKNOW.

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Seeking Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction

If you or a loved one are struggling with a fentanyl addiction, today is the day to take action. Guardian Recovery has intake coordinators standing by 24 hours a day to help guide you along your journey to freedom from addiction. We know the specific and urgent needs of every individual who struggles and are dedicated to ensuring that these needs are met. Reach out today and begin your journey of freedom in recovery.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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