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Parents and Harm Reduction Advocates from Southern California Gather in Los Angeles for the 13th Annual International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31
Date:8/28/2013

d Gretchen Burns Bergman, Founder of A New PATH and Lead organizer of the Moms United to End the War on Drugs campaign.

John Whitaker, Director of A New PATH – LA and former child star says, "I have five dear friends whose lives I will be honoring on Saturday, August 31; three of them are that of my co-star, Anissa Jones, Buffy who needlessly died of an overdose of Quaaludes in 1976, Dana Plato (Different Strokes) who died in 1999 and for whom Naloxone may have saved her, and Eric Douglas (Kirk's Son and half-brother to Michael) whose battle fighting his demons ended in 2004.  We will also remember others who have died this year including Corey Monteith.  Their lives, along with others, will be celebrated and we will make sure that their deaths will NOT have been in vain."

Drug overdose remains a leading cause of accidental death in the United States. 100 people die in the United States each day from preventable, accidental overdose. Nationally, a number of states have recently passed '911 Good Samaritan' laws, including California, in 2012. This law is designed to encourage people to call 911 to report an overdose as quickly as possible to reverse an overdose. Smart solutions include: 911 Good Samaritan Bills, Naloxone (a non-narcotic drug that can reverse an overdose), drug treatment on demand, and harm reduction education. Julia Negron, a PATH Board member states, "100 lives are lost a day to preventable overdose. Thankfully we have 'Good Sam' laws in Florida and California, but we can do better. We need to reduce fear and stigma and provide training for Naloxone."

Denise Cull
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SOURCE Alcohol Justice
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