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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.


Host or Attend an Activity

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.

Promotional Resources

We provide campaign materials to share within your community to help prevent overdose.


Donate and help to raise awareness of overdose and spread the message that overdose is preventable.

Post a Tribute

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


Australia’s Annual Overdose Report

2,000+ overdose deaths in Australia for five straight years

Penington Institute, the convenors of International Overdose Awareness Day, have released Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2020


Report Released

The 2019 International Overdose Awareness Day was the most successful yet. Download and read the Partners’ Report to learn more about our campaign.

Time to Remember. Time to Act.

Make a Difference in 2020

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

Adrienne Dearest Josh ~ my heart aches when I think about the pain you must have been in through your active addiction. I pray that your heart has healed and your joy has been renewed. I miss you every day. I love you. Adrienne Tribute Stephanie Eric is my son.  He died at 25 years too soon.  He died from a drug overdose.  He was a happy, social, intellectual, funny, witty, handsome, college educated boy.  He was my son.  Eric was the kindest soul, putting others before himself.  He is loved so much by all family and friends.  This I know, the deepest abyss of grief and pain the human spirit can endure, is the death of your child.  With this death, I lost someone I would have died for.  Eric had three years of college studying hospitality management and hoping one day to own his own hotel.  I love and miss you son until the day after forever.  And if there is longer than that, I will love and miss you after that.Missed so much by all.  Hoping one day I see you again.Mom xxxxxxxooooooo Stephanie Tribute Mick Jordan Spencer Clark, The 23rd marked 2 years since you went to Heaven my friend. And to be honest, sometimes it still seems like yesterday. I miss you so, dear friend, but you know that. Wrote a song that morning and recorded it that day. As I had taken off work. Didn't want to be there on such a day you know... Put purple lilies on your grave and a purple rock too. Never forgotten buddy...Know always You are Missed and Loved.Posted 28/01/2020 Mick Tribute Taylor Mom,It's been two weeks since you left us, and I miss you so much. I keep thinking I'll wake up from this nightmare, but I see you in my dreams. I'm glad you are no longer suffering, but I am suffering without you. It's hard to keep moving when I feel like my life has stopped. Fly high, Mom. Until we meet again. Taylor Tribute Your little sister To my dearest brother, you lost your battle to the devil 6 years ago today.You are missed more than words could ever describe but your memories give me the strength i need to proceed.In my heart is where I will keep you until we meet again. RIPYour little sister Your little sister Tribute Ineke My wonderful daughter, my friend, sleeping in my bed. But you were not asleep. How do I go on without you, 44 years old and every day a blessing, I just never thought it would turn into a reality. How do I deal with this piece of me you have taken with you. I remember the first time you moved inside me. This time I couldn't get you to move. How I loved you, You didn't want to go, we had just bought all those flowers for your garden. As hard as it was every day you kept at it, Addiction gripped you so tightly that it killed you in the end. I hope it isn't the end for you. I so hope you get to realise your potential, we told you so many times you could do whatever you wanted with that bright,.witty, funny, aware, intelligent mind you had. And you were so beautiful. The longer it is the harder it is, I miss you more after speaking to you so often for so many years. I love you Heidi, as you well knew and not even your death will ever change that. You were my special daughter, Be Happy Ineke Tribute Brianna This is a tribute for Jeff LaBrie, who died of an overdose on May 23, 2016. Although I did not know him for longer than a year, I knew him well enough to know that he wasn't ready to leave this world or to be done having fun with all the people he loved. He was struggling on a day to day basis to stay sober, and it brings me peace to realize that his struggle is over. Although he must have been fighting his own internal battles, he always managed to bring a smile to my face and I enjoyed every minute I got to spend with him. He moved to this area to get away from the addictions he was fighting and was able to be free of them for a few months, but unfortunately gained another addiction in the process. No one can ever know when the last time they will see a person is, and I only wish I could have spent more time with Jeff. He will definitely be missed, and I will forever remember him for his love of fun, his smile, his ability to make everyone around his laugh, and the way I could always be myself and completely comfortable around him. Brianna Tribute Emalee Memory of my sweet PrestonBismarck/ North Dakota Emalee Tribute MJ To our beloved Andrae who the sunset for on 3/12/2017 we love and miss you so much. For more than a week after you left us your spirit stayed with me and would not let me sleep. I felt you strong. You shook up all of Uptown (West Oak Lane) Philadelphia with your passing. And it was in your own cold tragedy I believe no doubt you saved a few lives after you by seeing a beautiful spirit gone in such a way. In your own way you made them look. You made them face their own demons through you, 2017 you saved lives when you accidentally let go of your own. You forced everyone rather through shock, sadness, grief and or disbelief to straighten up and fly right. There is not a day that Darius does not miss you or talk about you. He said it best when he pulled the words deep from his heart to address those who threw stones he told them all "Whatever anyone may think of you, you were so much more than what people saw or knew". Rest well knowing you never have to wear a smile to hide the tears again. We love You Chan Chowder.Posted 25/03/2019 MJ Tribute Lexi Dad.. You died December 28th, 2014. It took me a while to be able to talk about you, even if I was talking to myself looking in a mirror as practice if anyone ever asked. If anyone ever asks about you I try to keep it short because it hurts. Pain is what it is.. The guilt, the love, the memories. ...The memories... I'd wait for you every day at the door when I was younger while crying asking for my best friend. My daddy ❤. I'm 16 now & you weren't alive to see me make it here. I go on each day with strength & happiness, with my faith in humanity/life. Overdoses CAN be prevented. But for that to happen, you have to catch addictions very early on. Get your loved ones help, listen to them, be there for them, last but not least LOVE them. Anyway dad, I love you very much & think about you every day ❤💯🙏🏻 Your best friend & daughter, Lexi ❤Waterbury Lexi Tribute Sarah P.C

My beautiful son Kerry died 2/20/15. I begged him to get help 2/18, he was dead two days later. His brother & I will never be the same. He was my first born son. He was perfect looking when he was born, at 8 pm 10/26/88, like the Gerber baby. Now his ashes are in my attic, I can't bear to spread them, it makes it too real. There were 2 hundred people at his service. He never met a stranger. Opioids kill.

Greenbelt, mD
Sarah P.C Tribute
Mom Sweet Child of Mine,Miss and love you every minute of every day my beautiful, talented, sweet, smart, handsome forever 21 year old son, Zack (8/25/89-5/1/11)! There are no words to express the loss...I love you Z, Mom Mom Tribute Anon To: Heath, Andy and Lisa Three great loves, three great lives. Never ever forgotten. Anon Tribute Diane My forever 30 year old son James Masciantonio Jr. 11/27/1984-2/27/2015. (Philadelphia, Folsom PA & Delray Beach, Indian Shores FL) My world is forever changed without my son, nothing matters anymore, nothing feels good, no reason to smile, laugh or just enjoy......  I hate saying but that's how I feel.  My son was beautiful, kind, loving, a true gentleman, intelligent, he had a gift to make me laugh, his laugh was contagious even when they were few and far between. Unfortunately, Jimmy was sick and the system failed.  Two thirds of his life he used some sort of drug just to feel "normal" as he would say.  We tried doctor after doctor to treat his depression.  He would found recovery back in 2009, he was dedicated to the program, we fell in love and fathered a child; my now 6 year old grandson and my son's namesake. After having surgery in 2011 he suffered a relapse and struggled ever since.  His girlfriend kicked him out of the home, separated from his son who adored him. From 2013-2015 he lived with me, it was difficult, I watched him struggle everyday just to deal with life..... Mid January 2015 he wanted to be back closer to his son and moved.  But that was not meant to be, he wasn't allowed by the mother of his child to see his son and became even more depressed.  Unexpectedly, he relapsed and returned to heroin but this time it was laced fentanyl.  He was clean and sober for 6 months.  A murderer walks the streets of Florida dealing heroin laced with fentanyl! Rest in Peace my Angel Son, you earned it. Diane Tribute Melissa In honor of my best friend we lost way to early, Dawn Partain. Rip girl..I love you Melissa Tribute Pamela A Boothe

I am remembering and honoring my daughter Megan Alexandria Johnson.
May 2 1992-March 10 2011
Please get educated, never leave anyone alone, and call for help! See you again one day angel. Love momma

Pamela A Boothe Tribute
Lisa Shawn Michael Leins, my 18 year old son, lost to accidental Methadone toxicity October 12, 2012. He was not an addict nor was he prescribed any. A 32 year old neighbor lady shared her 10 mg pills with him and then kicked him out in the middle of the night. Methadone diversion is illegal in my state, yet she was never even questioned. How bout that?! ~4ever, 4always & 4eternity~Cromwell, Indiana United States Lisa Tribute Anita Butz My son AJ died of the disease of addiction the day before overdose awareness day. On Aug 30, 2012 our hearts were shattered when I found my sons lifeless body on the floor of his bedroom. He was an honor student and struggled from 16 to 21. He was into sports and always helped other people. We started a nonprofit organization to end the stigma and help others fight this disease. We love him and he is missed., PA Anita Butz Tribute Joshua Never did I think I would become a widow at the age of 43. My amazing husband Joshua, died from ONE & A HALF laced fentanyl pill on October 23rd, 2019. I am certain that if he had known those pills were laced he would still be here today. He was such a bright light in a dark world. He was extremely intelligent & was absolutely brilliant & creative at his job. He was extremely well liked & he was as loyal as they come. He was my forever soulmate & his overdose killed part of me as well. More people need to see that it’s just not our deceased loved one it effects, it effects every single person who loves & cares about them. It is great to try & find yourself a good grief support group, mainly one that specifies the loss of our loved one through overdose. May god bless each & everyone of you as you walk down your unique paths of grief. Now you have an angel to help guide you through the day! Joshua Tribute Karen In memory of my son ryan m Snyder  3/7/84----10/20/14 Karen Tribute Daddy Our beautiful Chloe Grace would have been 19 tomorrow, she died from a heroin overdose April 26, 2015 a few weeks after allowing someone to inject her, so here's a tribute to my angel, we miss you, your light will always shine illuminating dark places, dancing in my dreams , stay warm, always Daddy The Chloe Grace Foundation Daddy Tribute Dawn Drown Krissa Dawn Booth Cornell. (8/20/1980 - 7/24/2019) 38 years old. Krissa struggled since she was 12 years old with a mental health disorder. She loved feeding the homeless and talking to them. Looking back...she had a love for people who we think are broken...however she will tell you they are the most happiest people in the world. I wish I could have embraced more of her spirit and because of her I will live the rest of my days trying to embrace what she had.Posted 10/10/2019 Dawn Drown Tribute D Roofer Mike You are truly missed. Your smile, jokes and engaging conversations were something I always looked forward to. Peace be with you. D Tribute Tiffiny In remembrance of my baby sister, Emily Smith-Vanderpool who went to be with Jesus on November 16, 2016 after an accidental opiate overdose along with a lethal combination of medications prescribed by her physician. I found her alone, face down on the bed in a hotel in South Carolina and I will never be the same. I love and miss you terribly, Emma... but I know I will see you again soon on the other side of life. Tiffiny Tribute Don To My Brother Fil (Bondi Sydney) Deepest respect Brother, miss you more than you know - that laugh can never be replaced Bro. RIP my Brother. Don Tribute Linda My precious son Justin, Life will never be the same without you. My heart is broken. I love you so. Watch over us and help your brother Charlie. Your smile could light up this earth. I miss you so........ Till we meet again.... I love you MOM Linda Tribute Jack R.I.P Sam Daniels R.I.P Stacey Higginbothan R.I.P Aaron Short R.I.P Nathan O'SullivanYou'll never be forgotten and always in my heartWe are all born into this world with the potential to be anything, but unfortunately some of us are born with a sickness inside us known as been a drug addict. It has taken some of the best humans I've ever met! Well before they ever reached their potentials. I have so much anger because there is not enough support to help drug addicts, we have a serious sickness. There is help for people with cancer, people with disabilities and people with illness. Addiction is no different we are just as sick if not sicker but there is no where near enough help. I hope that things start to change because to many beautiful humans are being taken away from family, friends and children everyday. Jack Tribute Penny A part of my heart died with you, Troy--my proud Mama's boy. Life will never be the same, but I will try to live it in your honor. Fly with the angels, my Peaches, and be at peace. Until we meet again--I love you more than life itself, Momma Penny Tribute Ashley My mom died almost 8 years ago from a drug overdose. She was only 47 years old. There is not one day I don't think about her. Wishing she was still here. Ashley Tribute Elizabeth

I send this in memory of my beloved son David P Borandi. He died from Heroine/fetanyl/codeine mix. He was my only child. Parents who go through this die two deaths, one when their child begins to use, the battle of while they are using and then the ultimate death, when they die completely. It's a devastating reality, you are never the same again.

Pittsburgh, PA
Elizabeth Tribute
Ricky To my son, L CPL. Richard J. Soltis, Jr, USMC, I miss you so much. I still can't believe you are gone. Every time I see your beautiful little girl Madi, I ache inside knowing she will never remember her daddy. I know the most important thing to you was becoming a United States Marine. I am so glad you fulfilled your dream. I am so proud of you for serving our country. I wish there was something we could have done to save you. I love and miss you with all my heart, Mom Ricky Tribute Julie I lost my son Stefan Woodward after he attended the December stereos in Adelaide to an ecstasy overdose.Its been 7 months and I've. . My family have been crying EVERY day and night  since then.He wasn't feeling well & stood in the first aid line... so called friends called him name's, bullied him ... then Stefan stepped out of that line.. and died there later due to an ecstasy overdose.. due a very high temperature that shut down his organs.. because of ecstasy.Please please look after your friends/mates, DON'T LET THEM WALK OFF ALONE! if they dont feel well seek medical attention, DONT give them shit.. It might be the last time you see them alive.. look after your mates. Julie Tribute Kathryn

In loving memory of Alexis Lenti cherished daughter of Frank and Maureen

worcester ma usa
Kathryn Tribute
Renee & Sherie To: Theo Manesis 
We love & miss you so much 
We know that God had other plans for you
 Thinking of you every day
Your Girls - Renee & Sherie xxx Renee & Sherie Tribute Aunt Shell

Johnny ,If love could have kept you here with us you would have lived forever..I know how hard you tried.... always in my you forever and a day. Aunt Shell

Little Ferry,NJ USA
Aunt Shell Tribute
Jason Jon My tribute is to my youngest son Jason 11-17-1991 - 8-2-2017, Another senseless death, A life taken too soon, A soul that is loved and missed dearly. We love you so much and carry you in our hearts forever....until we meet again. Jason Jon Tribute Nicky To all of those who I have known and loved who have lost their lives to addiction, may you now have peace in the arms of God. Now to those who I love who are still struggling to overcome addiction, I will always be here for you xo Nicky Nicky Tribute Maryann My sister past June 28th 2020Drugs destroy family I hope this helps someone so they really see that life is nothing but a vapor God gives life and takes life.YOU DO HAVE A PURPOSE .A little testimony our precious butterfly! Tita !she's in God's presence she is not dead as Jesus resurrected and is living we never say that we are praying to a dead God no ,He is alive and so is she she is with him.The meaning of life : The actual meaning of life is to fulfill your purpose in life and accomplish your goals. What I mean by this is, everyone has a purpose, of why they are living. None of us will be here if we all didn't have a purpose.Drugs are horrible its taking lives everyday, the enemy is very real. His mission is to steal kill and destroy.God says , "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly".He is the only one to give us strength to overcome our weaknesses..It's so painful beyond measures, the stories she Shared with me in the past of how she used and injected heroin she could have passed away so many times she said before As she mentioned and give God the glory that it was all him that she survived each and every time she knew she could have died.. But God just didn't want to take her he waited as He is patient want to no one to perish.She was sober and clean for a year living with me doing good ! hearing the word praising the Lord with me & with others loving him going to the sleep with Christian positive music,she was able to share with me so much of her past on the streets were she went wrong what she missed and regret it. She was so passionate. And her heart was so tender and we new it was because all of our prayers. She would gaze outside while drinking coffee and look at the mountains ponder on a little red bird that would land on our fence and say how precious and beautiful it was & that she was missing out on so much. She noticed all the little things and enjoyed them to the fullest 😭 so moving forward they ( courts,PO ) saw that she was doing so then blessed her with her own apartment she only had a month in. Had a moment of weakness the enemy brought out the bait 🎣 she bit it.We heard and no how she felt, she was starting to feel alone and with covid all the classes shut down that she would do. she also had some insecurities, the enemy is such a liar! It is so important that we all get in tune with God's word and know what he says about each and every one of us and who We are that we are special and we are beautiful, individually as He says he knitted each and everyone of us different in our mother's womb with His own hands He molded us. He is defeated God just use the situation of her weakness to bring her to him he said enough! is enough! I know God is going to do something amazing in this horrible situation "what the enemy intends for evil God will always turn it around for good". Because that's who he is a good good father. So , if God wanted to spare her life and save her he would have he was waiting for her to come close to him , and for us to also experience the real clean through her. And we are thankful to have had that time with her. I'm so thankful she wasn't in the streets when this happen she already had invited Jesus in her heart that's what he wanted was her to come close to him. When we found her in her apartment . My husband flew through the window after he broke it to resuscitate her she was gone already or maybe at least a day we're still waiting for details on the autopsy. But it was an over dose and it wasn't IV. It was a powdery substance as the officer said a lot of fentanyl is out there it is killing many he said there is a lot of overdose people within just a few months a bad batch is out there please be careful! Do not for fill that void with drugs /things of the world fulfill it with God's word with his love that void was for Him . She was able to go to the White mountains with us last week I will always love and cherish the memories ❤️ I love you sister !!!with all my heart and soul..We miss you !!!My sister's favorite song she played this a million times over and over "reckless Love of God".. God's reckless Love for my sister came and meet her . "Lyrics "There's no Shadow you won't light up no mountain you won't climb up coming after me. There's no wall you won't kick down coming after me. Lie you won't tear down coming after me.😭😭😭.. Maryann Tribute Kassi sledge

Daddy Sledge we love you so very much and miss you so much! Where happy that now you are our guardian angel and your watching over us. We will meet again and be together forever once I'm called home too! I love you baby!

Posted 16/08/2019
Kassi sledge Tribute
Teresa Noble I have lost too many to mention...💔.Middletown Teresa Noble Tribute Heather  On July 4, 2015, I lost an irreplaceable part of my heart, my cousin, Trey Fulford, to a heroin overdose.  He had been clean for 4 months and then like a blink of an eye and a needle to the vein, he was gone.  Our small little town here on the east coast is being overran with heroin. Trey was such a sweet soul and had a smile that could knock you off your feet. I miss him more than I could ever put into words. Heather Tribute Kathy Smith To: My Son Quentin, died from a accidental overdose, 27 years old died on March 23, 2010. The best son ever...missed so much and loved forever. See you in heaven dear heart! Moms Kathy Smith Tribute Arielle To the most beautiful person inside and out that I have had the honor of loving and being loved by. Drew, you will always be my Option A, my original plan, my soulmate, my best friend, and the love of my life. Although cut way too short, I feel so incredibly lucky to have been loved by you because I do not think most people experience the feeling of the unconditional love that we had. I wish I could have help more, I wish I could have saved you. I can only pray that you are not in the pain that you were when you were here. I love you wholeheartedly and unconditionally, baby. Arielle Tribute Michele I lost one of my good friends in July 2015, he was 37. Mike Houge was one of the most compassionate and caring person I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back 5 minutes after meeting him if you needed it. Mike had lots of friends, and was such a joy to be around. His addiction started with prescription drugs and then moved to heroin a few years later. At which I never even suspected he was doing it, because he hid it very well, from everyone. He left New jersey to be with his family in Oregon, which only lasted two years. His addiction was stronger than we had thought. He came home to visit, and unfortunately never returned home. After 2 years of being away from this terrible drug, he overdosed on a Friday night. As i am writing this, I am crying, the pain still hurts , and i miss him everyday. I'll never forget you Mike, my hougey bear, Love always MicheleHellertown Michele Tribute Tina I lost my oldest child, Brittni Renae Peel, on May 11, 2012 at the age of 22.  The autopsy showed "accidental intoxification".  It was a combination of xanax and methadone.  She left behind her younger brother and sister.  She had battled for at least 8 years, she would do good here and there or just got better at hiding it.  Alcohol was her worst enemy and then she got introduced to pills.  She had a heart of gold and would never hurt a soul, but she struggled, struggled every day, however I can say this,  she would tell ppl all the time, you can believe what you want but I know, Jesus walks with me everyday and she would always tell me "mom, if God takes me thats his will, nothing we can do about it, but you have to live.."  Miss that girl every second of every day. Tina Tribute Deborah H. In memory of my daughter Ava Michelle who died in a FL halfway house in West Palm Beach on May 11, 2018, may God and the angels wrap you in Love and Peace, Mommy loves you! Deborah H. Tribute Joshua Perne Gone but never forgottenPosted 27/08/2019 Joshua Perne Tribute Marilyn My son Bobby Nunzio Giovino overdosed January 6th 2016 from heroin Fentanyl. He had been clean for two years and relapse. He tried countless times to get clean and get  help which was not available for him. Bobby suffered from addiction for 10 years he was 25 years old. Marilyn Tribute Darlene Katherine Elizabeth BSN I miss your smile, your intelligence, your empathetic soul, your artistic abilities and your trust in God I miss all of YOU! You did great things in your time here! You struggled and fought hard but .... I am grateful to God for bringing you home and removing your tremendous pain and setting your spirit free. I love you Bum and will always be proud of you. Darlene Tribute Elizabeth Gearin Nick - You were a beautiful old soul who carried the weight of the world. I remember when you were a little boy, you worried about where the homeless people slept, and how they cared for their pets. You trained Shadow to be a service dog; you shuttled stray or injured animals to the shelter on your bike; and you patiently taught your cousin to draw. I couldn't wait to see what other amazing things you would do with your life, and I'm so so sad that your life was just way too short.Posted 31/10/2019 Elizabeth Gearin 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.

Post a Tribute

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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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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