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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.


  • My son Jacob passed away from a heroin overdose 3 weeks ago on 06/05/15.  Jacob, aka pickle, was such a bright light in a dark world.  He never met a stranger, everyone who met him were instant friends.  He was so outgoing and his smile would light up a room.  He was a hard worker, a good friend, always willing to help others, and made it a point to meet a new person every day.  He loved little kids and they loved him.  He was recently talking about wanting to settle down with a good girl and raise some "bad ass" kids. Most of all he wanted nothing more than for people to find true happiness, he just couldn't find his own happiness. A bright light went out the day he died and the world is definitely now a darker place without him.  I love you Pickle and I miss you terribly every second of every day.
  • This has been a rough month, on June 8th we struggled through the second anniversary of the day you left us. Peter was the most amazing son, grandson, friend, and fisherman. He enjoyed the simple things, the beauty of nature and his passion for fishing. He experienced more in his 23 years on this earth than most people do in a lifetime and I'm so thankful for that. He was the most intelligent kind hearted man, and even through his sickness he was still a caring loving person always lending a helping hand. I wish so bad everyday when I wake up that it was a dream and you're still here, but it is not. It is a terrible reality that I can't hear you're voice or see you're beautiful smile. I miss you every single day and I always pray to you for strength and you always hear me. Drug abuse is one of the most painful things any person can endure society needs to stop judging and start helping because we're losing beautiful children everyday to this disease. I love you Peter, until we meet again angel.
  • Our family continues to suffer the effects of loss for our beloved daughter Amanda Beth Randall... She was such a source of happiness before she was an addict; her sense of humor and love of trivia were obvious. What wasn't obvious was the demon of addiction with its terrible grasp on our beautiful young daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and friend. The demon's grasp grew stronger and more obvious as the years went on..It caused our beloved daughter who was always so kind, to become so dependent upon heroin,and that we grew terrified of losing our precious girl...On Aug 17th, 2015 our worst nightmare was realized when Amanda overdosed for the final time....We miss her so much, even though the last 5 or 6 years of her life were so very difficult to watch. It's hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for her to live. We know she is at peace now, so that gives us some measure of peace also.. We look forward to our reunion with her in eternity..
  • I lost my beautiful daughter Jenee', almost 5 years ago to a cocaine and methadone overdose. She was 21 years old. When people hear "overdose", the mental images they come up with definitely don't look like my little girl. She was loving, thoughtful, kind, fun , beautiful...  even did modeling on the side for 17 years, but none of those great things kept her from getting addicted to prescription drugs. There is a program in Florida called The Marchmen Act, that will access your loved one and court order treatment. So many are not aware of this and I don't know if it's in every state, but it should be. I wake up each day, and there's a part of me missing. A part of me went with her and I cry for all that will never be. So many think, "It can't happen to me"... yeah Jenee' thought that too.
  • My son Aaron died from an overdose of Heroin August 11, 2013. I miss him more than I can express. He was only 23 years old, way too young. I miss his smile, his laugh, his hugs. He was such a great guy, so many people loved him. He was so much more than a heroin addict - he was a son, a father, a brother, a friend. He loved baseball, and gummy bears, but he loved his son Cody the most. I am now raising Cody and pray that I can help Cody know who his daddy was, he is to young to remember him. So sad.
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