Photo from Governor Tate Reeves' Twitter.

According to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), overdose deaths claimed the lives of more than 941 Mississippians in 2021. 

On Monday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared August 31, 2022, Overdose Awareness Day.

Reeves said that drug overdoses are a tragedy that have hit the nation incredibly hard in recent years and has taken the lives of far too many.

“I declared Overdose Awareness Day to help raise attention for this issue and its victims,” Reeves continued. “Thankful for all community members working on this!”

“We recognize the purpose of International Overdose Awareness Day is to provide an opportunity for all Mississippians to stand beside those who have lost loved ones to an overdose and help to end the stigma of drug-related deaths,” the proclamation states. 

The proclamation notes several statistics, including: 

  • According to the CDC, more than 932,000 people in the U.S. have died since 1999 from a drug overdose, and 187 people die every day from an opioid overdose (including both prescribed and illicit opioids).
  • According to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), overdose deaths claimed the lives of more than 491 Mississippians in 2021, together with many more whose lives are also affected forever. 
  • In 2020, according to the CDC, 94% of the 91,700 U.S. drug overdose deaths occurred among the working age population, persons aged 15-64 years 
  • 82.3% of opioid- involved overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids 

“Addiction is a complex and treatable disease that has uprooted the lives of people from all races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds,” the proclamation continues. “Treatment is effective, a life of recovery is possible, and we must encourage relatives and friends of people with substance use disorders to implement preventative measures, recognize the signs of a problem, and encourage those in need to help to seek appropriate treatment and recovery support services.”

The proclamation concluded by saying that the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and its partners with “Stand Up, Mississippi” are dedicated to reducing the frequency of drug overdoses and the pain of survivors affected by deaths of loved ones, and the further development and implementation of drug overdose prevention initiatives in communities throughout the state.