June 6 Marks National Naloxone Awareness Day


Overdose deaths have decreased for the first time since 2018, but naloxone remains an important tool in fighting the opioid epidemic.

For the first time since 2018, the number of estimated drug overdose deaths in the US decreased in 2023. According to provisional data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, deaths decreased by 3%: from 111,029 in 2022 to an estimated 107,543.1 And although this downward trend is a step in the right direction, deaths related to opioids and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are still occurring.

On June 6, cities across the US will recognize National Naloxone Awareness Day, intended to increase public awareness of, and access to, naloxone as an important tool in lowering opioid overdose-related deaths.2

The first National Naloxone Awareness Day was recognized in 2023, launched by the Victoria’s Voice Foundation. The foundation was established 2019 by David and Jackie Siegel in honor of their 18-year-old daughter Victoria, who died of a drug overdose on June 6, 2015. Since then, the Siegel’s have worked to develop a national platform for drug awareness and prevention, including advocating for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which was signed into law in July 2016 and was the first significant federal addiction legislation in 40 years.

“Nearly 300 Americans die every day from an overdose [and] it is critical that we continue to increase awareness and availability of naloxone in order to save as many lives as possible,” said the Siegel’s in a news release. “We are committing to sparing other families the grief we have experienced.”2

In 2023, a federal resolution designating June 6 as National Naloxone Awareness Day was passed. The effort was led by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Rick Scott (R-Florida), who led the bipartisan, bicameral resolution.3

Narcan Nasal Spray 4 mg was first approved by the FDA in 2015. In 2023, the agency approved Narcan Nasal Spray as the first naloxone product for OTC, nonprescription use. To mark this year's National Naloxone Awareness Day, Emergent BioSolutions, the manufacturer of Narcan, met with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to strategize around new, cross-industry collaborative efforts, to educate Americans on opioid risks and ensure the wide availability of Narcan Nasal Spray.4,5

To learn more about this lifesaving medication, check out this selection of stories published previously on Drug Topics.

1. US overdose deaths decrease in 2023, first time since 2018. News release. CDC. May 15, 2024. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2024/20240515.htm
2. Buildings and landmarks across the United States to shine purple on June 6 for National Naloxone Awareness Day. News release. Victoria’s Voice Foundation. May 30, 2024. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://www.wfla.com/business/press-releases/cision/20240530NY27506/buildings-and-landmarks-across-the-united-states-to-shine-purple-on-june-6-for-national-naloxone-awareness-day/
3. Markey, Scott lead bipartisan, bicameral resolution designating June 6th Naloxone Awareness Day. News release. Ed Markey. June 6, 2023. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/markey-scott-scott-lead-bipartisan-bicameral-resolution-designating-june-6th-naloxone-awareness-day
4. Emergent BioSolutions continues driving progress against the opioid epidemic & recognizes National Naloxone Awareness Day. News release. Emergent BioSolutions. June 6, 2024. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/emergent-biosolutions-continues-driving-progress-130200164.html
5. Emergent's statement on today's Office of National Drug Control Policy 2024 Opioid Overdose Reversal Medication manufacturers meeting. News release. Emergent BioSolutions. June 5, 2024. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://www.emergentbiosolutions.com/media-statement/emergents-statement-on-todays-office-of-national-drug-control-policys-2024-opioid-overdose-reversal-medication-oorm-manufacturers-meeting/

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