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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.


  • My daughter Alicia passed away from a hydrocodone overdose  on December 9, 2014. She had struggled with prescription pill addiction for years and despite treatment programs, therapy, CPS interventions she just could not resist the lure of this insidiously dangerous drug.  The drug was prescribed over and over by a doctor who knew of her addiction and her previous overdoses.  And if it wasn't him it was the emergency rooms in the hospitals.  I feel so sad and lost that nothing I ever said or did made a difference.  She wanted the love of the father of her children but he was an addict who was broken as well.  His final cruel words to her crushed her spirit and cut to the very core of her being. She wanted love and acceptance but I found it so hard because I was so angry about what she was doing to herself and her children.   Now more than anything  I just wish I would have said I love you.  Please, God, help me take care of her children now, and take care of her in heaven.  RIP my daughter- I love you and your life mattered.
  • James, you have been gone since April, 2014. Such a void since your passing. This will be my first Christmas without you since we met. As time goes by, I feel pain in my heart from missing you, but at the same time, I know you are no longer struggling with your own pain of addiction. You are now happy in the presence of Jesus, as well as your loved ones. Because you are now at peace, I can be at peace as well!! Until we meet again, love always and forever, your wife, Lisha
  • My mom died almost 8 years ago from a drug overdose. She was only 47 years old. There is not one day I don't think about her. Wishing she was still here.
  • Sarah my angel, Not an hour goes by that you don't cross my mind. I love and miss you endlessly and am excitedly awaiting the moment our souls can reunite. I vow to do all I can to spread awareness and help with prevention with your name in my heart. Rest in paradise my sweet angel. 7/30/95- 8/14/13
  • Dear Robert, Remembering you today, the one year anniversary of your leaving this earth. May you fly high, in wellness and in love, with all of the dear angels, including your beautiful son, James. Love always.
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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