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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.


  • Kyle- it hasn't even been a month since you've been gone, and what happened is finally starting to unravel. Everyone is hurting, and so confused. You were doing so well getting clean. You wanted to start a life with the new amazing woman and her child you met, and you were so close. Nothing will ever be the same without you.
  • I lost my husband and my son's father on October 30th 2016. He had 4 years clean after serving a 4 year sentence. We were going to get us all together in Boston to start over once we had the money to do so..He had a car..a great job and healthy caring friends..he decided to use again one would be the last. It killed him. I fought the battle against heroin to keep him alive just to get him in that jail cell back in July of 2012..and in the end it was indeed dope that would be there for his last breathe. He had such a beautiful heart but a tortured soul..I'm at as much peace as I guess I can be..I hope he is too. Never be another you Brian...never.
  • Dad - It has been 6 months since I received the news that you had overdosed and passed away.  A deadly cocktail of prescription pain pills and alcohol led you to your grave. It was accidental and that makes it all the harder to come to terms with. The memories I have of sober you - they are my fondest memories. My sober father was the kindest and most generous man I will ever know. I miss you more than words can convey; however, I know you are with Mom and the rest of the family. I hope you have found solace and peace. As for anyone else struggling with addiction, you will think it will never be you, but anyone can accidentally overdose. I pray for everyone affected by drug use.
  • Sarah!  You were my oldest child, I loved you more than life itself!  I tried so hard to help you ... I prayed for your healing.  You were doing so well, living in transitional housing, doing what you could to get your baby back from foster care.  The demon of heroin had you too much in its grip.  They found you on your bathroom floor.  When the coroner called me, I was in shock, couldn't believe it, I was planning on coming to pick you up the next day to spend with me.  I will never forget you, and will never get over losing you.  So talented, so loving, so bright!  Make heaven a brighter place with your love!  I will miss you for the rest of my life.  Mama
  • James Donald Doyle- (JD) 2/3/90-10/25/14 My oldest son. My heart. If before you were born, I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls, I still would have chosen you. If God had told me, "This soul would one day need extra care and needs", I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "This soul may make your heart bleed", I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "This soul would make you question the depth of your faith", I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "This soul would make tears flow from your eyes that could fill a river", I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "This soul may one day make you witness overbearing suffering", I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "All that you know to be normal would drastically change", I still would have chosen you. Of Course, even though I would have chosen you, I know it was God who chose me for you....and for that I am blessed.

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