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International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) – held on August 31 every year – is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of family and friends left behind.

Our theme for 2024 is “Together we can”, highlighting the power of our community when we all stand together.

#TogetherWeCan #IOAD2024 #EndOverdose 

Ways to get involved

Host or join an event

Host or attend an International Overdose Awareness Day event to remember those lost to overdose, learn more about overdose, or advocate for change to end overdose.

Download and share resources

Download our campaign, advocacy and education resources and share messages about overdose and overdose prevention in your community or workplace today.

Remember with a tribute

Post a tribute to a loved one who has passed away from an overdose on the International Overdose Awareness Day tribute page. 

 

Buy merchandise

Buying and wearing merchandise is a great way to show your support and spread the messages of International Overdose Awareness Day.

Share this page with your networks!

Tributes from the community

Justin Alec Felix

I have recently lost my second sibling to toxic drug poisoning, my brother Justin died on Father’s Day of this year. My brother suffered an overdose on the anniversary of our mother’s passing, On June 4th my brother sustained a severe hypoxic-ischemic brain injury caused by an overdose. Justin was only 29 years old & had one son. Before this tragedy, my brother was incarcerated & was able to achieve sobriety, because of the failure of our justice system my brother was not a priority & the system did not consider his health & safety. My brother was also banished from our home community in 2023, our Indigenous self-governing leaders are trying to approve the community protection law, which gives them authority to sign a band council resolution & have members excluded from their community & their families. These by-laws are contrary to the laws & statutes that are supposed to protect indigenous rights. My brother tried so hard to achieve & maintain sober living, but because of the failures at all levels of government he fell back into his addiction & lost his battle on June 16 2024 @ 2:15 pm. My heart is so broken even when I lost my younger sister the pain wasn’t this debilitating. I miss him every day & tried so hard to keep him from ending up where he is. My daughter was his world & he was her greatest uncle, I worry that my daughter will use negative ways of coping with these losses as she is already engaging in alcohol use. I advocate for the rights of Indigenous people with lived & living experience in substance use & I fight to amend Band By-laws that exclude people from matters that affect the lives of those who use & their families

... Samantha

Donevan Hester, forever 16

Donevan was an amazing son, brother, grandson, friend, etc. He had dreams to become a fireman and was recently accepted into a high school fire technician program to help him achieve that. A month before he passed away he got his first job as a lifeguard. He always loved to swim and be near the water. He lived life to the fullest and wanted to enjoy every moment that he could. He had a beautiful smile that lit up the room. A contagious laugh. Great dance moves. He was known for his hair. He loved changing the color and we never knew what it would be by the week.
Donevan, I miss you so much it hurts. I miss everything about you. I miss looking into your beautiful eyes. I miss hearing your voice. I miss your hugs and good night kisses. I miss our connection. Our inside jokes. I am so sorry you were struggling and I didn’t know. I wish I knew so I could have helped you. Until we see each other again I will miss you everyday. I love you so much honey. I hope your soul is at peace now.

... Alyssa

Doug Crowley

Dougie was my son. He was beautiful inside and out. He was an empath, with a huge heart! He was also brilliant, and loved math and science. He told me once, when he was helping me study math for a test to enter graduate school, “Mom, math is beautiful!” Doug could listen to someone speak or sing, and mimic them perfectly! He never got to grow into the person who would have helped people and done amazing things.

... Karyn

My son Tyler

I lost my 24 year old son on 4/25/16. He was an Eagle Scout, college grad and a loving son and brother whose addiction began in the drs office. I sure do miss my first born. He was loving, funny and smart wish we could have saved him.

... Laura

My beloved family and friends lost along the way!

It’s been 7 year’s this year since I lost my uncle Harvey to this awful pandemic since then I have lost 2 of my favorite first cousins Tabatha and Chris along with multiple friends most of my close one’s and nothing seems to get easier without any of you here everything has changed so much except for the promise I made to keep all of your names and memories alive, I pray everyday that other’s will seek the help they need so we don’t loose anyone else and other families don’t have to deal with the traumatic experience so many others have already lived and living through, I love and miss you all but I find comfort knowing you no longer have to suffer or deal with everyday unnecessary things being said to and about you I find peace volunteering to help other’s and I know one day I will see you all again until that day comes shine on like the diamonds you are and may all of your souls be at rest, I love you all and miss you all very dearly!!

... Love always Shawnta, Mariah and family

My brother Travis

You are missed so much moo cow! It’s been 4 1/2 years, but it still seems like yesterday that you were with us. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you and your silliness. Your smile and laugh is missed terribly. I love you forever, Travis!! On 12/31/2019, Travis went out to the our local casino to drink and celebrate New Year’s Eve. He messaged me a little after midnight to say “Happy New Year!” and said he lost money that night. He came home about 2am, took 2 10mg pills of Cyclobenzaprine and went to a friend’s house to celebrate more. He had half of a beer and a shot of whiskey. The friend said he passed out in a lawn chair in her living room. They tried to move him, but he pushed them and waved them off. He still seemed intoxicated at that point. He was still in the same lawn chair the next evening, the friends didn’t think anything of it and went to sleep. Around 6:30am the next morning, the friends called the ambulance, they arrived 10-15 mins later. They were trying to wake him up, I arrived at this time. Saw them trying to wake him up and he was waving his hands around, mumbling words with what sounded like a lot of phlegm in his lungs, we weren’t able to make out the words he was saying. The ambulance personnel laid him flat on a gurney when his heart rate stopped completely and he stopped breathing. They tried resuscitating him, he would come back, but they’d lose him. After several tries, they put him in the ambulance (which took about 10 mins to leave) and then transported him to the hospital. The ER Doctor said he continued to work on him, but they weren’t able to bring him back the last time his heart rate was lost. We got his autopsy report back, our local physician read us the report and said he had lethal doses of atropine (the ambulance personnel must’ve given him this to help his heart rate) and the muscle relaxers showed up in his system. His death certificate states he passed from a prescription medication overdose. I shared his story to raise awareness about prescription drugs and mixing them with alcohol. Please be careful when taking prescribed medication and ALWAYS look for side effects when mixed with alcohol or other medications!

... Love, your baby sister Tawni

#IOAD. Time to Remember. Time to Act.

Overdose affects everyone. From grieving families to spontaneous first responders, the impacts of overdose are far-reaching and fall indiscriminately.

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