Toronto ON. – Substance use disorders are a serious and complex health issue that affects millions of Canadians and their families. Every year on August 31, AMHO and our members recognize International Overdose Awareness Day and the start of Recovery Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the many paths to recovery.
Ontario remains in an overdose crisis. In 2022, more than 2,500 people in Ontario died due to opioid-related deaths. This number has increased dramatically over the past five years. Without concentrated support for Ontario’s addictions and mental health sector, this number will continue to rise.
“International Overdose Awareness Day is an important reminder of the severity of Ontario’s opioid crisis, as well as the crucial role our members play in easing it,” said AMHO CEO Alisha Tharani. “We want to recognize and thank all the front-line workers across the province who have provided Ontarians with recovery options.”
As well as being an opportunity to reflect on the effects of overdoses on our communities, Overdose Awareness Day signals the start of Recovery Month. Every September, AMHO recognizes Recovery Month by commending the work our members do to support recovery journeys across the province.
This year, AMHO’s theme for Recovery Month is #EmbraceEveryJourney, which recognizes the wide spectrum of recovery pathways undertaken by those in recovery. The pathway to recovery is different for everyone. AMHO is committed to working with government, sector providers and partners, and persons with lived and living experience to build a comprehensive and connected system that can support each unique recovery journey.
“Substance use can affect anyone in our communities,” said Tharani. “It can affect our families, friends, neighbours, and loved ones. During Recovery Month, we want to recognize this, the same way we would for any physical health condition, and recognize the importance of specialized care in recovery.”