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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.

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


  • I just lost my 33 year old daughter to a heroin overdose. Her name is Samantha Leogrande. She had a 8 year old boy. She was a single parent trying to be both mom and dad. She lived with me for 7 out of the 8 years she had Kden.  She was suffering both physically and mentally. She was in so much pain everyday. From fibromyalgia, massive migraines and 3 back surgeries that left her in constant pain.She was given opiates to take away her pain for awhile. Besides that she was diagnosed with being bi-polar and  schizophrenic. She was also very depressed from the pain. I found her on my bathroom floor dead. I tried to get her to breath for me while doing CPR till the medics arrived. That was the day my life came to an end as I knew it. Samantha died on August 10th, 2016.  It's only been 6 weeks and I want to remember her and always keep her alive in Her son's heart and to never let him forget the love she had for him. She lived and breathed for him. Samantha was a smart girl. She went to med school to be a surgical tech but couldn't find work in our area.She graduated with top honors.
  • To Brice James Wood, My Beautiful Son.  I love you so much & am so proud of you for being sober for 3 months.  I thought because you were living in a sober living facility, you would be safe.  I blame myself for so many things and I am so sorry I failed you.  I just want this to be a bad dream.  I want this to be a dream & I will wake up and then I will understand you had an illness and I would call you everyday and I would drive to Houston and visit you more and I would not let this happen to you.  I don't know how to live without you here.  I cannot believe this has happened.  I count the days until I can be with you again.  I'm so sorry, I love you more than anyone & anything.  I only hope you know this. Be safe my darling
  • In loving memory of Grog, my best friend, my brother. He passed away from an accidental methadone overdose. He was the funniest person in the room at all times! He was an amazing father of 4 kids but tragically he left this world before his time. No one could save him from himself, and I try to tell myself everything happens for a reason but nothing fills that void we all have in our lives now. He is very much missed and I can't wait to see him again one day! Love you grog ❤️
  • In loving memory of my beautiful son, Jack, who died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl on 3-20-16. Jack was everything we could've asked for in a son. Kind, caring, smart, hilarious, hardworking and full of love for his family. He is missed by many but especially by myself, his dad and his heartbroken younger sister, Claire. The void that he left is immense. Our lives will never be the same. It has been 6 months since he died and his 28th birthday is on September 30th. Our precious boy. I am so very, very sorry that I couldn't save you from yourself. Never doubt how much you are loved. I would give my life to hear your voice once more. I love you,son. I will hold on to memories until we are reunited.
  • The evening of 6/2/2015 , was the worst evening I could have ever experienced. My Love, my Best friend, My boyfriend, my heart, my  everything, father to a beautiful daughter, brother to 3 younger siblings, uncle to 4 nephews, son to a lovely mother and a great friend too many others. He had been battling such a horrible addiction and it took over him. He was arrested and that same morning of his death , he called me and told me he was happy to go to jail ,as that would have been the only chance he had to get help and get clean. Unfortunately it did not go as he planned and how he had me hoping for. He was in lock up and he had some bad drugs in him and he was having a HEART ATTACK...yes a freaking HEART ATTACK!!!! He was asking, yelling for help , but they neglected to help him. They figured he was just their normal drug user needing a fix. For the recklessness, the assumption, the careless Police officers that ignored his calling for help, you bastards... he is gone!!! He was pronounced dead at the police station in his cell at 8 pm on 6/2/2015. At the time I was supposed to get his call that he had been transferred ,and he was undergoing paperwork and pending court...noooo, instead I get a phone call at 3am that I didnt answer cause I was sleeping. When I call that number back in the morning, I get a total chasing game and finally I get through to someone and I heard the news. My Boyfriend, my Love, my Best friend, my heart, my everything had died. My life has not been the same and it will never be the same, People say it will get easier as the days go by, but to be honest it really doesnt, it seems to get harder. I MISS YOU SO MUCH MY SUGABOOGA!!!! IVE BEEN LONELY, IVE BEEN AFRAID, YOU WERE MY ROCK, MY OAKTREE. I KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO GET BETTER FOR ME AND YOUR DAUGHTER AND FOR YOURSELF BUT THEY TOOK THAT CHANCE AWAY FROM YOU BABY. I AM SORRY FOR THE PAIN YOU FELT, FOR THE IGNORANCE OF THE POLICE OFFICERS, I AM SO SORRY YOU HAD TO GO AND BE TAKEN AWAY FROM US SO UNEXPECTED. MY GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WITH ANSWERS. AND I PRAY TAHT YOU ARE RESTING IN PEACE. I KNOW THAT WE WILL SEE EACHOTHER AGAIN...ONE DAY. TE AMO, TE ADORO, TE EXTRANO MI VIDA... XOXOXOXO FOREVER & ALWAYS YOUR SNUGGYMUFFINZ AMOR!!!!

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. Please note: Due to unprecedented demand badges have SOLD OUT for 2016.  


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. 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.
Overdose Day is volunteer driven and we are grateful to the many individuals and organisations all over the world who support and participate.

RE Trust
The William Buckland Foundation