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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.

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


  • I lost my boyfriend of 16 years to heroin on 5/15/2015. We were junior high sweethearts and I knew from the moment my eyes met his I would be by his side forever. I just never knew forever would come to an end at the young age of 29. He began using heroin a year before he died right around the time our twins were born. We also have an 8 year old.  He battled addiction for almost 10 years, but heroin came into the picture and took the love of my life in the blink of an eye. He had a beautiful soul, always wanted to make others smile, and was always encouraging others battling addiction to seek God and look to their children for their motivation to get clean . His faith was strong, and he loved his 3 girls with all he had. He ended up dying 1 day before we were going to take our oldest to Disney World. He was dead for almost two days before anyone found his body. I had no idea how bad the addiction became until after he died. He always told me he was clean and we were making plans for our future. The pain I am living with today makes me feel hopeless at times but reading other people's stories tells me I'm not alone.  God bless all the families out there who are grieving. I love you Danny.. promise promise
  • In loving memory of my best friend Chris. I never knew he had ever done heroin. He kept it a secret. It's horrible how addicts are treated in this country. Everyone is so judgmental. Maybe he would've told someone, & got help, but he didn't in fear of being judged. It can happen to anyone. I know so many who said they would never try it & did. No addict planned on becoming one. So many overdose & die everyday. I'd do anything to have my best friend back. He was only 33yrs old. I love you Bub. <3
  • In loving memory of our son Matthew who died 9/23/2008. One month before his 20th birthday. He overdosed on drugs the doctor gave him. I was to stupid to know what that drug would be the death of our son. He was battling depression,so I thought a doctor would help him. So parents be aware. I miss him so much. Half my heart is in heaven.
  • This is in Remembrance of Shellie Maxwell. She was My Mom and my Best Friend, She was the ONLY One who was their for me. My Father wasn't in my Life, All I Had was my MOM, She More than Made up for my Father. My Mom was Hurt at Work Almost a Decade ago, She Battled the Pain through the Years. They Prescribed her Every Type of Pain Pill Known to MAN! She Remained Strong through it All. She Passed Away July 2nd 2015 from an Accidental Prescription Overdose! Im HER SON, The One who is writing this to Remember my MOM. She Put me through A lot, Being the Only Support for my MOM. Ive Seen her at her WORST and Her Best! She was Trying to Make the Change that She NEEDED to In Life! She Wanted to get off the Prescriptions SOOO Bad! But that takes Time, And Time was NOT on HER Side. They had my Mom on so Many Prescriptions that it Seemed like they were TRYING to Kill Her! Rest In Paradise MOM! I Will Miss you Until we MEET Again! These Past 10 Years haven't been the Most Exciting, But A tleast we Were Together and were Happy. Please SAVE YOUR LOVED ONE BEFORE ITS TOO LATE! I Wish I Woudve done it for my MOM! :(
  • Remembering My son Ryan Matthew Snyder...3/7/84--10/20/14...Losing my only son to addiction has shattered my life...This disease not only takes our loved ones away it also takes us....the grief and the emptiness is an unbearable pain that will always live inside my heart...My son was loving, caring, always had a big beautiful smile...He was my rock and strength...But now he's only my memory..Forever 30....Ryan M Snyder....
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.
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