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August 31 declared International Overdose Awareness Day

Thursday, September 1, 2022 - On Wednesday, Sallisaw Mayor Ernie Martens signed a proclamation on behalf of the City of Sallisaw declaring August 31 International Overdose Awareness Day.

International Overdose Awareness Day is an annual campaign that takes place each year on August 31. The campaign aims to create awareness regarding drug overdoses through public education.

The Sallisaw NOW Coalition (SNC), a local non-profit organization, coordinated the signing of the proclamation to highlight the danger and lives taken due to drugs in the area. The SNC team works daily by visiting local schools and organizations as well as collaborating with community partners to find new ways to assist in the reduction of drug overdoses and hospitalizations in Sequoyah County.

The SNC invited all community partners, board members, and law enforcement to meet on the lawn at Stanley Tubbs Memorial Library for the signing and declaration of the proclamation.

Provisional data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicates there were an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2021, an increase of nearly 15% from the 93,655 deaths estimated in 2020. The 2021 increase was half of what it was a year ago, when overdose deaths rose 30% from 2019 to 2020.

The SNC has bracelets available for organizations or businesses that would like to join in the prevention efforts and show their support. The group will feature those wearing the bracelets on the SNC Facebook page.

Featured businesses and organizations showing support this week include The Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce, People Inc., Shannon Vann-State Farm Agent, The City of Sallisaw and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

The SNC has many resources available for those dealing with addiction as well as family members who have loved ones that are struggling. If you would like more information regarding resources, please contact 918-208-0733 or visit

Lindsie Dyer, Staff Writer

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