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International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death.

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The silver badge, purple wristband and purple lanyard are symbols of awareness of overdose and its effects. Wearing these signifies the loss of someone cherished, or demonstrate support to those undergoing grief. It sends out a message that every person’s life is valuable and that stigmatising people who use drugs needs to stop.


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Hosting your own International Overdose Awareness Day event or activity, or attending one, is a powerful way to stand together to remember people who have lost their lives to overdose.

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Post your tribute to a loved one who has passed away from an overdose.


2020 Partners’ Report Released

Creating change in the face of adversity

The 2020 Partners’ Report tells the story of International Overdose Awareness Day in 2020.


Time to Remember. Time to Act.

Make a Difference in 2021

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August 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 died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose death is preventable. Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. 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? In these videos, we hear from people who have been affected by drug use and overdose.

“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.”

Remembering Lost Loved Ones

Louann Wallace In memory of my daughter, Elizabeth Suzanne Wallace. She was gone too soon. A beautiful person who loved life and it loved her back. See ya later, Liz. I love you to the moon and back! Mama Picayune, MS, USA Louann Wallace Tribute Iwona Today would've been your 30-th birthday. We only got to celebrate 27 birthdays together. In a few days it will be 3 years since you left us. It doesn't get any easier. We all miss you and love you very much. Happy Birthday Szymon. Love mum. Iwona Tribute Justine I lost my mom on march 14th 2019 to a drug overdose. Her name was Carla Marie Nelson. Gosh it still doesnt seem real when i say it. She was someone you looked up to and could run to with all your problems. She was always there with open arms. My mom was a nurse and loved caring for others. She started to have pain in her back and had to have surgery. We then found out she had a disease in her back that would eventually make her wheel chair bound. The doctor prescribed her pain killers and she got addicted. She struggled so long with her addiction and tried to quit so many times. Now i dont have my beautiful loving 47 yr old mom that had so many years left! I love you mom and we all miss you so much! 💜 Posted 18/06/2019 Justine Tribute Kim We lost our 22-year-old son, Ty, on May 14, 2016.  He was a bright, funny, handsome young man.  He had been in residential re-hab for a couple of months and had a job.  We got to enjoy a few months of wonderful communication and accomplishments with him. Unfortunately, addictive thinking apparently took over and he decided he could try using one more time.  So many people let us know how much he had cared about them and how much he had touched their lives.  There was even one young woman who was in the same re-hab program because he had texted and called and encouraged her to check it out.  It is so good to see that there is an app to help people recognize signs of overdose.  The people our son was with were not addicts and did not know what was going on.  Glad to see you getting that information out there. Kim Tribute Deidre My soul sister Valerie. I love and miss you so much. You had such a hard life and then nine sober years. You went to college, you helped other people, you got knocked down and got up again until you could not. I hate the disease , I will always love you. Deidre Tribute Mom To: Jake In loving memory of my precious and only child, Jake. The light and love of my life. You brought so much joy and happiness to my world. Twenty four years wasn't enough time with you. Your absence has left a void that will never be filled. I miss you with every breath I take. You fought so hard, for so long. But you left me with the legacy of your strength and courage. It's what helps me to go on now.... I love you, my precious Son. Mom Tribute Danielle Michael my love, not a day goes by that we don't love you, miss you or need you. You will always be the most beautiful man I've ever known and the rest of of my living days are forever incomplete. It'll never make sense. I love you for eternity Danielle Tribute Lauren 8/10/19 would have been your 24th birthday Aaisha. There isn't a day that goes by that your ENTIRE family doesn't miss you or think about you. Your laugh was infectious, your smile was contagious and your personality was just out of this world! This world was just too cruel to you and if I could go back to that cold March night and wake you up, I would. Drugs are horrible. They are even more horrible when someone is given something and they don't know what they are given. Aaisha, your name means "to live" in Arabic and that's what we all do each day. Your beauty lives on in all of us. <3 Your Favorite Sister Posted 15/08/2019 Lauren Tribute Jill Brannan Our son James died 5/23/2014. We will always remember him and treasure the time we had with him. We miss him and love him more each day xxxxxxxxxxxx Jill Brannan Tribute Michelle Kinch My darling Christin Green who would be thirty years old this Sunday coming up died of a Fentanyl overdose 2 years ago March 7, 2019. I used to blame myself everyday for her death but how can i blame myself when i didn't know she was using heroin to begin with. I think of you everyday and miss you more...........they say with time it gets easier but so far that hasn't happened. Rest in my peace my sweet first born child and keep watching down over your two beautiful daughters (one which i am now raising).
Posted 26/02/2019
Michelle Kinch Tribute
Cristina Tilton Daria Lynn... Oh how I wish I would have known. I refuse to let your death be in vain. I will March for your cause and I will always miss you. #herointookmybestfriend Southaven Cristina Tilton Tribute Selina My son Steven ...god i miss you so much ! Just the thought of you not here tears just roll are an amazing man i couldn't have asked for anything will always be my hero...i love you so much Steven there's no words to express the sorrow. And pain we all feel now that you left us..i know your in a beautiful place taking care of nephew Mason ..there's not a day that goes by i don't think of you my son ..nov 23 2019 a part of me died with you.. ..i love you son and i miss you so much Selina Tribute Sue 4yrs ago we lost a big piece of our heart's and not a day goes by that your not in our thoughts. Rest easy my gentle giant, T-Roy. Your daughter is a constant reminder of better days gone by. Forever Young 💜💜💜 Marlboro Sue Tribute Jasmine In loving memory of my little brother dajon.. I love you and I miss you.. mommy loves and misses you. We all do.. until we meet again ❤️ Posted 18/08/2019 Jasmine Tribute Sarah

Rest in Paradise Patrick ❤

Sarah Tribute
Fish Jeff, I'll never forget the day you were taken away from us. You had more of an affect on my life than either of us could have ever realized during our short friendship here on earth. You were truly one of the kindest persons I have ever have met and am so grateful for the short sweet time we had together. You are the reason I am sober today, whether I realize it or not. Despite your passing at such an early age, your death will not go on vain. You will never be forgotten brother. I love you man. Fish Tribute Jodie Cromer Remebering you today and everyday as it is your 2 year anniversary. You struggled with your drug addiction for so many years. May you now rest in Peace Allen Woods xxx Jodie Cromer Tribute Tina M Upham My only son. Christopher M Upham 7/27/1980 -- 8/22/2017 We love you and miss you so much. R.I.P S
Posted 09/08/2018
Tina M Upham Tribute
A Lost Daughter Dear Momma,I am still in shock. Although I knew you struggled with an addiction to prescription medications, I never thought this would happen to us. You had been doing so well and staying sober the last 6 months, I thought maybe you had beat this, and that I finally had my mom back. Little did I know when I found you had relapsed on May 4th, that on the morning of May 5th 2013, dad would wake up and find you already gone.I thought we would wake up and try to convince you to go to rehab to prevent any more relapses. But we didn't have the chance. It's not fair you would never let us get you extra help, and that I am now left without a mother at 26 years old. And my daughter without her Gma she loved so much at 7 years old. You will now never see me get married, have more children, see Alaina cheerleading (who was the apple of your eye) or be there to grow old with Dad. We're all heartbroken and nothing will ever make us feel better. But we will learn to live with it. But if anything can come from this, it's going to be that I vouche to help anyone I can going through this addiction, to get help, the right way. Even if I can try to help one less person to go through this hell and loss, I will do my best to do so. Always in my heart momma. Love you A Lost Daughter Tribute Kathy We lost our middle son, Sean on March 28, 2011.  He was found alone in a Motel Room.  The autopsy said toxic effects of meth, but we believe that he actually overdosed on a drug called 1.4 BDO.  The BDO didn't show up on a tox screening, but the last person that was with him told us that was the drug he had with him at the time.  His older brother had overdosed but thankfully pulled through just a month before and told us that it was called BDO.  This drug is  similar to GHB.  Sean was an actor and had been an extra in one of Tyler Perry's television sitcoms.  He had a heart of gold.  Before he died he had wanted to form an organization called Families Against Drugs to help families dealing with addiction.  He died before it became a reality and with God's help, we picked up on his vision and formed the organization in his memory.  Sean left behind a son and a daughter whom he loved with all his heart.  I believe that what plagues me the most is that people don't want to open their eyes to this growing epidemic unless it happens to someone that they love.  I suppose that was how I was too though, not realizing the heartache that goes along with OD deaths.  I wish more people would get involved and bring awareness to their communities.  We miss our son every single second of every single day and some days are still so overwhelming.  Sean left a huge hole in our family. Kathy Tribute Cathy Noonan In Loving Memory of my nephew Jacob Alexander Christensen 2/2/1993 - 12/22/2013 Miss you everyday Jake!! 💙💙💙 Chicago, IL Cathy Noonan Tribute Dawnette

Brandon Robert Devich. 1/29/86-5/23/12. My handsome son went to be with God. He was my world. He loved his family and friends and we miss him so much. His daughter was born 7 months after he passed. What I wouldn't give to see him with her. We'll be together again. Until then my son. Love you so very much.

Massillon Ohio USA
Dawnette Tribute
Mayra Ever since I lost my fiance Vincent from an accidental overdose I have never been the same. It has been very difficult for me to wrap it around my head that he passed away from a heroine overdosed since I had no idea that he was an addict and that he was battling this sickness. I wish that he would of told me that he was battling this addiction since I would of helped him to get cleaned. The other hard part was that I was out of the country when the incident happened and my daughter was the one that found him in our bathroom already deceased. The trauma that she has endured from his passing has been one of the hardest thing for me. The pain that I have felt from loosing him and the pain that I am going through seeing be 10 year old daughter go through she is no longer the same little girl. I wish he would of just told me. I feel such a betrayal from the one person that I trusted the most. It has been very hard from me to overcome his lost since I had no idea what was going on with him. I thought that our lives were going great we were going to marry in April. I just wished he would of told me. Posted 15/05/2019 Mayra Tribute Jennifer This is a tribute in honor of Andrew Curley. His life ended far too soon on September 25, 2013. I wish I could have been one of the lucky ones to have known him - - although his life and legacy has made a big impact on me nonetheless. His memory lives on every day through his family, who have opened their hearts to me, specifically his brother Jason. The pain of Andrew's absence is real and painful,... but it was not in vain.   A Prayer for Those Addicted to Drugs, by Vienna Cobb Anderson Most loving God, we ask your blessing upon all who suffer from addiction. Strengthen them to reach out for help. Enable them to take the first step to recovery. Bless them with the persistence to persevere in the fight to be free. Give courage and hope to their families, drawing them close together in the power of your love, which alone can transform our living. Amen. Jennifer Tribute Christie I lost 2 sons ,Christopher 28, and Chaz 19. My oldest was murdered and my Chaz had a accidental OD. They passed same day 2 months apart. They were 2 of my best friends! Outstanding young men. Men of integrity and honor. We love and miss them beyond words! Christie Tribute Brenda My son Michael was in rehab 2 times and also on suboxne. He came home Nov 26, 2016 from his last rehab stay in California! I told my other son that I thought his brother had finally beat this demon!.! He died the next day 1/11/16 of heroin fetanal overdose!! Brenda Tribute Micky Jimenez In memory to all those love ones who have loss their lives to an Over dose! May the disease of addiction be treated as a Chronic Brain disease and more solutions to this epidemic be made thru-out the US and thru-out the world!
Posted 24/08/2018
Micky Jimenez Tribute
George Keffer My beautiful daughter Nicole passed away from this earth on 12/29/13 from an accidental drug overdose. Nicole was my heart! I will miss her forever until we can be together again in heaven! My heart goes out to others who are going through similar experiences! This pain is overwhelming at times but I am determined to live my life in a way that honors Nicole! I would love to somehow help others going through this kind of loss. Please feel free to contact me! George George Keffer Tribute Perri I miss you more and more each day. Marlow I love you. love Mama xxx Posted 29/08/2019 Perri Tribute Yvonne In loving memory of Jennifer Delia, 7/24/76-12/19/12.  May your love for life vivaciously live in your daughter, Nicoleana,  every day. RIP baby sister. We miss and love you. Yvonne Tribute Carly

Robert Karl Schultheis, III (Robby/ Robby Royberto), our angel, forever 32. 12/24/83-10/17/16, always in our hearts ♥️.

West Palm Beach, Florida
Carly Tribute
Stephanie Michael, we love you "no matter what"!!! Always have and always will. We miss you more than words. Stephanie Tribute Rachell

To my mom, I miss you every day. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you.

Rockland, ma
Rachell Tribute
Marg My son died. He died from an overdose, the coroner described it as drug toxicity, mostly heroin. There was a wide range of other substances also in his system. I watched him battle this insidious addiction over many years. He was loved deeply by his family and his many friends. The day he died was cold and wild weather, he had been to work all day, he came home changed and headed out again to meet friends. On his return he went to his bedroom and that is where we found him. Our loss is immense and we miss him dreadfully, we wish he could be here to share ordinary day to day activities. In fact I wouldn't even mind if we had one of those heated moments that then ended in a hug and Ï love you mum". The silence around his death is difficult, the stigma and at times the judgment but as he would say they don't know me. I miss that smile, the dancing in the hallway when he thought no one was looking, the hugs, the jokes but most of all I miss him. She is a cruel mistress heroin. Love you Kris Marg Tribute Celeste Arnett Not a day goes by that I don't miss my older brother, Sean. He was one of the most benevolent people alive. Celeste Arnett Tribute Kristi My best friend I miss you so much not a day goes by you are not thought of till we see each other again youll never be forgotten. In memory of Jessica Mcquiston 2/5/88-2/13/16 Kristi Tribute Auntie Esther Mikhaila Camille Throop (aka baby girl, Misha, Mimi) born 8 June 1993 died 7 May 2012, 1 month shy of her 19th birthday. She was my niece, my friend, the little sister I never had, a sister to two, the firstborn, a savior to her mom, and a friend to many. She will never leave our memories or our hearts. I love you Misha - forever and ever. Come visit us in our dreams again sweetheart. xoxo Auntie Esther Tribute Gayle Remembering my best friend Vlad who died from an overdose last August. I love you and miss you xx
Posted 24/08/2018
Gayle Tribute
Cindy My brother George P. Gauthier lost his battle with addiction 5/28/15. He was 44 years old,  He was so intelligent and creative and funny.  He struggled with alcohol from the time he was in his early 20's after getting married and having three children and his alcohol addiction had progressed . He lost his marriage , his home , his job and his children and his will to live. I was in and out of his life , I would pray so hard for him , he would get sober then relapse , this repeated all his life. He began using coke , crack , heroine, prescription drug and of course alcohol , whatever to numb his pain. He would try to end his life , he would over dose , the number of times I don't know but it was many.  He tried AA , counseling , psychiatric units , program, and church .  He was so broken and seemed to not be able to stop . Two days before he died he was admitted to the hospital for intoxication they released him.The next day brought back to the hospital in Springfield , MA for intoxication. Our mom and a pastor/social worker told the hospital he needed to be admitted for psychological evaluation as he was going to kill himself,  They were told he was an adult and once sober if he said he was fine could go.  He was released by 11 pm that night .The next day he was dead.  We believe he took a hand full of Oxycodone and his body gave up in my mothers house. At least he was not alone or in the streets,or killed in a fight or stabbed or shot but he is still gone. As a family to live with the what if's the how come's what if my mom called the paramedics sooner what if we tried harder , what if I hugged him more, what if , what if , what if. This is so painful and I want to scream and I want him back but not the addiction my brother who I lost years ago to a terrible illness of addiction. The world say a drug addict , he was not his addiction he was MY baby brother , a uncle , a father , a husband , a son , a grandson a creation of God. He mattered his life mattered , he was valuable and loved. Cindy Tribute Danya

My 16 YR old daughter suffers from depression and has tried to overdose twice. We were very lucky the second time was touch and go, but we were very lucky. My heart and prayers go out to everyone and there loved ones who did lose someone.

North Pekin IL USA
Danya Tribute
Rosa To my only son Lino Adame. Your sisters and I miss you so much. You left us to soon. God is with you and your pain has vanished. You are always in our Heart and Mind. Love Mom Rosa Tribute Susie I miss you guys everyday Randy: 4/20/86-6/24/17 Julie: 1/26/90-7/21/17 Marie: 4/12/92-12/19/17 Susie Tribute Lisa My son lost his best friend to a drug overdose. He left a handsome little son behind. His son has that same smile his daddy had no matter how bad of a day he was having he could make anybody smile . He is miss by his family so much. His mom n brother r raising his wonderful son. I know that he will be just like his daddy Lisa Tribute Wendy Beach In loving memory of my Son, Scott Allan Beach. Forever 23. There's not an hour of each day that I do not think of you. I miss you more than anything. I love you Son. Please hold onto that part of me you took with you until we meet again. Posted 26/06/2019 Wendy Beach Tribute Aunt Kimberly Gordon My Dear Chad, You have been gone over two months now, but the pain of losing you has crushed me to my very soul. I miss you each and every day and I wonder why did this happen. Life is just not the same anymore. You are loved and you brought so much joy to our family. I know you struggled throughout your life with addiction and I wish I could of helped you. I wish I could of heard your voice one more time. I tried calling you several times all month long but never heard back. Oh how I wish I could hear your voice again, or maybe just give you a big hug and kiss. You were an amazing person, you were so funny and loveable and your spirit was out of this world. What a tragedy. You were my nephew I remember the day you were born, I love you so, I can remember the day that you learned to walk I couldn't have been more proud. This family has been ripped apart, losing you was a shock. The only conciliation is knowing that you don't have to struggle anymore even though it hurts your not here I wouldn't want you here suffering anymore. You are loved and always will be. I'm writing this in tribute to you and honor you. The Colts aren't going to the championship, sorry Chad. One day will be together again If GOD allows me. Until then my sweet boy you rest in Jehovahs loving memory. When you come back to this earth you will be made whole again without any pain or struggles with addiction. You will have the life that you deserve to have. Until then my boy just know that aunt Kimmie loves you with all my heart and soul. Aunt Kimberly Gordon Tribute Kristen Sharp (your baby girl) I am 16 and from Kentucky and still grieving my dad's death even though it was 12 years ago. I was 4 when he died. He died 4 days before my birthday. My mom would tell good stories about him and if I asked how he died she would say he was sick and died in his sleep. That was true but she didn't mention it was an accidental drug overdose until I was about 11. I was in communicare and on antidepressants before I even knew this. And when I did learn it was his OD, I didn't think much on it until I was about 13. At 13 I felt he chose drugs over me and started to feel worthless. I kept it pushed to the back of my mind but after a couple of years I cracked. At age 15 I was cutting, burning, hair-pulling (self harm), making suicide plans and suicide notes. I was hospitalized twice that year. I hated my dad. Here's how I view/viewed things; if your own parent doesn't love you who will? He chose drugs over me so he didn't love me? Then when I got suicidal I hated him for leaving me in this cruel world. I wished he had killed me first. I honestly still hate my dad and I self harm occasionally but I am no longer suicidal. But it is his fault I am this messed up. I love him because I have to, I hate him because I want to. In memory or Thomas Les Sharp (Tommy) Kristen Sharp (your baby girl) Tribute tina koch In loving memory of my precious son, Ryan Scott Koch. God took you home when you called out to Him. I am forever missing you and loving you more each day. I will be with you when God brings me home to you. Until that glorious day, you will stay in my heart always. I Love you so much, Ryan. Forever, Mom tina koch Tribute Sue I lost my beautiful sister, Tina,to an opiate overdose. She was so special to me and many others. Her eyes sparkled her smile was wide and inviting. She accepted people for what they were but could not accept herself. I’ll love her forever and miss her every moment of my life. She was my sister, my confidante, my best friend, my everything. The world lost a beautiful soul the day you left us, my sweet sister, Tina
Posted 30/08/2018
Sue Tribute
Camille In loving memory of our dear son Gaven gone too soon at the age of 22 from accidental fentanyl poisoning in October 2017. We miss you more than we can put into words and our lives are forever shattered. Love you and see you soon. ❤️ Momma xoxo Posted 29/07/2019 Camille Tribute Mark Kinzly Anthony "Tony RED" Givens. Damn. There are few in our lives that when we are with them we never question if they have our backs and best interest at hand. The many dark and dangerous streets and abandoned buildings that we frequented in our work over the years never intimidated me when I was with you as I knew that you had my back as I had yours. Wish I could give you a hug and let you know that you're missed and that you made a big difference in many lives and the work that is being carried on today. Bad jokes, always trying to pick up women no matter where or when. His love of dance and his commitment to make things better. REST good brother. Mark Kinzly Tribute


Wearing a badge, wristband or lanyard can signify the loss of someone cherished and sends out a message that overdose death is preventable.



Penington Institute is collecting your information on this subscription page for the primary purpose of staying connected with you and keeping you aware of activities of interest to you about International Overdose Awareness Day. For this purpose Penington Institute may securely provide your contact details to its service providers including MailChimp and WordPress.

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Penington Institute is collecting your information on this page for the primary purpose of staying connected with you and keeping you aware of activities of interest to you about International Overdose Awareness Day. For this purpose Penington Institute may securely provide your contact details to its service providers including MailChimp and WordPress.

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