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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 2015 is Rethink and Remember. New downloadable resources for 2015 will be available shortly.


  • I want to let my son Joseph Burrelli know how much I love him and miss him.. He died of an overdose of heroin on December 10, 2014 and I died that day also.  He had the biggest heart and he loved me as much as I loved him..  He promised me he would not die of an overdose of heroin and that is exactly what he did.  He was supposed to get out of jail on December 15 and I was arriving in town on that day but they let him out early on the 7th of December.  He went to general relief and was give $350 cash and from there he went to the heroin dealers house and got the drugs that killed him.  I can not believe that a government agency just hands a drug addict $350 cash.  The pain is so unbearable at times. I still cry every day and would do anything to just hold him and talk with him.. I love you Joey and I know you are in heaven and I will see you again but I miss you so much.  Some days I don't think I am going to be able to get through the day  but somehow I barely make it.   I am not angry with you just so very sad.  I love you forever and ever... Mom.
  • My son Peter died June 8 2013.  He was 23 years old. I miss him so much.  He was beautiful. He loved being outdoors-fishing, swimming, and hiking.  He struggled with opiate addiction the last three years of his life, and died of an overdose one day out of rehab.
  • My daughter Layla Kate Heckel died of a heroin overdose. 9/12/91-10/16/11. She was a beautiful person.
  • Dale R. Kratz - 10/26/82 - 10/10/10. Your spirit was so beautiful - loving, even in the midst of your addiction. God knew it was time to relieve your pain and suffering, a few days after you got saved. The date of your death haunts me still, as it was a sign that you will live forever in Heaven eternally.
  • David.R died way to early.. Heroin took his life after a long hard battle.. He is my twin and always will be.. I feel guilty for not helping him more.. I love him. But I pushed him away because of all his lies. He was a great man taken from a terrible disease... I would give anything to have him back... Or help someone get off this devil and change their life.
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.”



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