Donate and help to raise awareness of overdose and spread the message that the tragedy of overdose is preventable.

Donate now


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.


  • Simone S - another year has passed and I still miss you just as much as ever. Lately you have been coming to me in my dreams - I'm not sure if you are supporting me through difficult times or it's just me wanting you so badly to be with me now. Regardless of how much time passes, I will never forget you and the special friendship we shared. My love and thoughts are with you always - Lisa xxxxx
  • My husband's family awoke to their mom’s terrified screams when she found their dad dead on the kitchen floor. His cause of death was no secret. Remarkably, she raised 4 children while working and attending college. Cutting a long story short, I fear my husband’s alcohol and substance abuse will cause him to repeat history. He has told me he wants to feel what his father felt just before he passed. So I asked him why he would consider putting his own son and myself through such devastation. He claims he wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Yet his reckless ways seem to prove otherwise. We love and need my husband so much. The thought of losing him scares the crap out of me. As a recovering addict myself he’s made it very difficult to stay sober. I can honestly say that his loss opened my eyes and made me strong. I can’t even remember what I ever saw in that crap. It literally makes me sick! I dread the times when he sucks me back into that lifestyle again. Honestly, I feel I have no reason to use any more. I turned to drugs as a teen to numb the pain of depression. I was molested at a very young age and suffered loneliness after a failed marriage. Well, I’m finally happy with my life. We have a beautiful family and everything we could possibly want. So now when he turns to drugs it makes me think he’s not happy with his life. I feel like less of a person or that I’m just not enough for him. Is it too much to ask for a little normalcy? I never got to meet his father Robbie, who was only in his early 30s, but he is loved and missed by many. I also KNOW he would want better for his son.
    Yonda Burns
  • Leemer, I feel you with me and I am constantly reminded of you. I’ll always remember how selfless and hilarious you were. I miss you and will keep your memory alive and strong. Thank you for teaching me so many things and for being a good friend.
  • For my son Matthew Nematz, who died 5/19/13 of an overdose of fentanyl and alcohol. Matt was 27 when he died. I will always remember you with joy, your smile and your sense of humor. I miss you terribly and so do all your aunts, uncles, cousins and of course Grandpa. My life is completely different without you. There is a hole where you should be. And yet I know you are close, I’ve had so many signs of your presence. I am so grateful for that. I miss you sweetness. Love you too.
    Mary Beth Nematz
  • I miss my brother. He was just perfect. All was falling in place like he planned; two years clean, four days off probation. Then my worst nightmare. My big bro is gone and I’m so badly hurting. I got this my bro always said I did. I will always be so proud of him. He already knew I will hold this down. God please give me the strength.
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.

Your Name*

Your Email [will not be published]*

Location [city / region and country]*


Your Message

Please type this code captcha into the field to the right:


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