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International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

IOAD spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Wear Silver to show your support.

The theme for 2014 is Rethink and Remember. Download the 2014 poster and infographics here.


  • First of all for all the parents, brothers & sisters, sons & daughters, who has lost a loved one from a overdose, my heart goes out to U, because I also walk in your shoes. Daily I ask Why?? Why, did U pretend U were ok, when deep inside U were hurting. You had so much to live for. And we all loved U so much, & I know you loved us all too. We will never get the answers were looking for. All U had to do was say I'm suffering & drowning within. We r a family & would of helped, but not to enable. Been down that road too many times. We lost my husband 9 months to cancer. Then lost Kevin to a overdose. The heartache some days is just unbearable!!! Please if your reading this & your popping pills or whatever your doing, look in the mirror, do U like what u see??? You have loved ones that will never be able to hold or comfort U in their arms.. Please get the help U so deserve. U & your family can prevail. Stop & think what a good life U can have with family & dear friends. Instead of a life of despair & heartache.
  • Me dear sweet Brandon-from the day I lost you, there has been a HUGE empty hole in my heart! I miss you so very much! What a senseless death it was! You were so kind, thoughtful, and loving. Even though you were caught up in your addiction, you NEVER stopped being that wonderful loving person who loved his family so much! We loved you too my love-and I know that you knew that. I am so grateful that we gave each other a hug, and said I love you the day before you left me. This all seems like an awful nightmare! My heart goes out to every parent who is experiencing what I am feeling. It's the most horrible thing that a parent could experience! It's not supposed to be this way! We should not have to bury our child! Something needs to be done to put a stop to all of these senseless deaths! For those of you who may judge us and/or look down on us or our children because they died of an overdose-SHAME ON YOU! These were our babies! They had an awful disease! They did NOT choose to die! This horrible addiction took over their lives! They suffered! We as parents suffered! It doesn't matter how they died-what matters is that we loved them, and they are gone forever! Please do NOT judge us, unless you've "walked in our shoes." Addiction is not prejudice! It takes any and all kinds of people, from all walks of life! It is my hope that something more be done about the dealers out there, who are contributing to the loss of so many of our children! Love & Prayers To All Of You-Who Are Unfortunately "Walking The Same Path" As Me.
  • Coming up on 16 years and I can still hear your voice. It's taken considerable amount of time to form my own associations and opinions on your passing, having been so young, but what I have gathered is this: You are still a hero to me. You'll always be my dad. I love you more than words can ever say. Sail on, Captain.
  • Szymku I miss you so much. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you and don't cry missing you. How I wish I could go back and do more. I try really hard to be a mum your sister deserves to have but it is so hard when my heart is filled with pain. I try to pretend during the day that I am fine but it's becoming harder and harder. I miss you and love you so much. Soon it will be your birthday. You would've turned 29. Love you. Mum
  • Dear Jake, the holidays are just around the corner. We all miss you so much, and are  trying to get on with our lives. What I miss most is the old time country music you loved to listen to. Please rest in Peace. And for those reading this Heroin kills-pass that message on. 6/25/79- 7/6/2014.
Wearing silver can signify the loss of someone cherished and sends out a message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Order your Silver Badge today.


Remembering those who have died – or been injured – because of overdose is an important part of International Overdose Awareness Day. If you would like to commemorate somebody, please add tributes here. Tributes will be posted on this website as soon as they are approved.

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Overdose Aware app

The Overdose Aware app aims to raise awareness amongst those who are experiencing drug use and their families, of how to recognise overdose signs and respond accordingly. The app shares information about what is an overdose, what are some of the key depressant, stimulant, opioid  and alcohol overdose symptoms.

Created with the kind support of the William Buckland Foundation, the Overdose Aware app is available for download on iPhone and Android. Read more>>


Thousands of people die each year from drug related causes.They come from all walks of life.

Do you recognise the signs and symptoms of overdose? What is the impact of drug use and overdose on family, friends and those experiencing it?

These videos are where people affected by the impact of drugs use and overdose share some of their stories.

“There wasn’t any white light. I didn’t make out Jesus or see my dead family members. It was just oblivion and it was very frightening.”


Canberra, ACT

Canberra, ACT
Event name: Directions IOAD Awareness Session
Location: City Needle and Syringe Program, Office 1, ground floor, City Health Centre, 1 Moore St, Canberra 2601 Map:
Type of event: Staff at our primary needle and syringe outlet will promote the campaign with overdose awareness posters, resources, hand out silver badges and educate visitors about the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy Overdose Prevention and Management (Naloxone) Course
Date and time: Friday 29 August, 9am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 5pm
Contact: Sascha Dilger
Phone: (02) 6132 4832


International Overdose Awareness Day is an initiative of Penington Institute and is funded with the kind support of our partner organisations.

RE Trust
The William Buckland Foundation

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