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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.


  • Matthew Lee Hunt, 3/1/1991- 4/15/2015 (24 yrs old) Heroin overdose after only a short time of use. Also lost his mother at a young age to the same drug. He left behind his father, an older brother, and two little sisters.
    Spencer A.
  • My dear, beautiful son David passed away 7 weeks and 3 days ago. David was 35 years old and stuggled with heroine for 7 and a half years. David was sober many times and was doing great. He overdosed from heroine in our home, I found him, I love him with all my heart and cannot believe that I will not see or hear his voice again. He has a loving family, Mom, Dad, Twin Brother and 2 Sisters. He has 2 nephews and 2 neices. We are all devasted by this loss. We started going to Grasp meetings 4 weeks after his death, David was a kind, loving person and will be missed forever. I love you David, Love Mom
  • Yesterday I heard that I had lost someone so special to me to an overdose. It's hard to believe that this is real. For years we worried that this might happen, but then he got sober and actually played a very important role in helping others with addiction. It is hard to imagine how someone so special, so loved, so respected, could be gone in an instant. Of course this is an accident. A lapse in judgement. But the pain that it has caused is unimaginable. The guilt that everyone I have spoken to is feeling is tragic because knowing you Samma, I know you would hate to have done this. No one will ever be the same. The world will never be the same. We all wish we could turn back time and change this. But he is so loved and cherished in our minds, And thats the only thing that makes me feel any peace, to know that I shared the past 29 years with this beautiful soul. For anyone who is using, I beg you to ask for help, I can promise you there is a way to be free without risking your life. You are not a bad person for using, You are doing the best with the skills that you have, please let someone help you. RIP Samma.
  • My sister died from a drug overdose two months ago tomorrow. It's hard, she'd been battling this disease since she was 15 and died at 22, she was clean for over a year, and just had a heroin relapse. Only her second time doing it after her relapse, and it killed her. All I can think is I walked right past her the night before cause I was with my friends. If only I had talked to her, I could have stopped her.
  • Yesterday, my brother in law was found overdosed on heroin by his mother. She face a gruesome scene and is struggling hard to accept that part of him was drug addiction, but he had more to him than that. In effort to be in healing we pray she can accept the sickness as part of her son and focus on the parts that made him unique and someone worth knowing. It's hard and my husband struggles tonight as well. Pray that they find their new place in their lives without an important family member here. Blessings and peace to them and may Joey finally, we pray, no longer have shame, pain, fear and addictions . May he, wherever he is, be a beacon in the dark for his family to follow out of the darkness which has hold on his family this night.
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