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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.

Promotional Resources

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


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Post a Tribute

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 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

Elizabeth   This is to remember my son Tom who died aged 29 years old in 2002 of a heroin overdose. I love him love him always and wish I could have helped him. His father and brother still suffer from this devastating loss as I do. Sleep peacefully my dearest Tom. Elizabeth 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 Lisa SIMONE-Another year, month, week, day, moment without you. The pain never goes away it's just become part of who I am. Wish you were with me on this latest journey-we'd rock at it together. Love and miss you always xxxx Posted 31/08/2019 Lisa Tribute Shona and family To Kellie King, I don't recall the date, all I know is losing you broke the hearts of many. May you be sleeping peacefully, forever in my heart xxx Shona and family Tribute Khrystie For Drew who died suddenly Wednesday August 22, 2018 from an overdose. Like anyone else plagued by the ebb and flow of addiction each day, even hour, could be vastly different. He yearned to be free of the ties that bound him and achieved 3 clean days before he relapsed and tragically succumbed to this terrible disease. To some that may not seem like a victory but to him it was. I know what it is like to be on the addiction roller coaster; 3 days is awesome! Congratulations Drew!! For the most part all friends and family watching a person they care for trapped by addiction can do is offer help. It can't be forced. It has to be something they do for themselves not those around them because unfortunately you can't stop someone else from getting in their own way. Relationships can fray, even break. On that note this is also for Tony who never gave up on Drew. Tony's steadfast friendship and loyalty proved that fact. They became brothers. The two of them sitting on the step outside goofing off will forever be in my memory. Drew had this wonderful silly way of dancing that was almost contagious. Drew is also missed by Cheeba, the cat. Cheeba considered Drew one of the humans in his pack and feels the loss. He will be forever missed by those who were lucky to have known him.
Posted 31/08/2018
Khrystie Tribute
Wendy In loving memory of my Son Scott Beach Jr. 09/28/92 - 02/15/16. I miss you more & more each day. Its so hard for me to get through each day but I somehow manage. Kisses to heaven. Wendy Tribute Sara Trapp I lost the love of my life Bill Stew on 05232016, he was my everything and he still is. I live on in his honor and I do everything I can to keep his memory alive💚 I love you forever and ever Billy if you can see this up there! Brockton MA USA Sara Trapp Tribute Jennifer My birthday will never be a day of happiness it was the day I lost my estranged husband and the father of my five children to a drug overdose it was a horrible end to a wonderful man who was trying to change and get his life and family back I was unsure if he was actually going to do the things he said on December 1 but he never had the chance too and we are left wondering John we love and miss you very much may you finally be at peace Jennifer Tribute Courtney Remembering my beautiful niece today, and every day who was lost to soon at the young age of 22, Logann Rae Coffee. Also my many friends who were taken to soon as well Jimmy Milone, Eric Christopher Johnson, and so many more. Courtney Tribute Tabitha Remembering my older sister today and everyday since she passed away. She struggled with drugs for many years and they finally ended her life. She overdosed and was brought back but suffered so many complications afterwards. She was in the hospital for over a month and passed away after a blood clot broke off and caused her to have a stroke. She was talking one day and nonverbal the next day. It was so hard to watch her go through that. It’ll be 7 years she left us on 9-15. She left behind me and my little sister, her 3 beautiful children and our parents. I try to raise awareness and be mindful of her story when I care for my patients as an NP. Don’t judge those who have substance use disorders, try to reach out and help so when they’re ready, they have someone to turn to. 💜🖤 Tabitha Tribute Maria To my beautiful son Shane. Heroin took you from us 8/4/12 at 27 years old. You tried so hard to beat this, you helped so many people along the way but lost your own battle. I understand how hard you tried. I saw your pain and wished with all my heart I could have made things different for you. You had the most beautiful smile and gave the biggest hugs. We are doing our best to honor your memory. Your Charlie Bear is helping others today. Gone my sweet boy but never, ever forgotten! I love you with all my heart. Standing tall for you Shane. Muah! Maria Tribute Kelly My best friend Heidi passed away from an Opiate overdose. Whoever she was with that last time she used, apparently panicked when she went into distress and threw her away, literally. Her body was found in a dumpster. She was 23 years old and she was not garbage. I have started Heidi Foundation, Inc., in her honor and want to do what I can to make sure no one is just thrown away again. R.I.P my friend. Kelly Tribute Lisa

Debbie, Nola, Helga, Rikki, Ronnie, Lionel, Titch, John, Marcus, Bradley , Lisa, Big Dave, Noel, 'A', Danny, Sissy, Kerry, Tammy
Each of you were in a chapter of my journey, each of you bring a smile as I wipe away the tears. I will never forget you and always be thankful that at some point we were in each others lives. Thank you all for the memories
Lisa xxxx

Lisa Tribute
Tina In loving memory of my beautiful daughter Amanda Angelucci  who lost her battle with addiction on October 1, 2015. I miss you every second of every day. I miss your larger-than-life personality your smile your laughter your presence. You are now forever at peace in the arms of The Lord. Sleep with angels baby girl until we meet again. Love You. Forever Amanda's mom? Tina Tribute Briana Jonathon S. Golden    8/22/1987 - 5/9/2016 An amazing brother, friend and son. Jon impressed me with his wit and humor; he had the best impressions and always came up with hilarious nicknames for everyone. He was a super talented artist. Everywhere we went, he was drawing on napkins and receipts. He was in love with Boston and would take photos all around the city of landmarks, views and every-day happenings. Most of all, he was an amazing brother and loved spending time with his family. Jesse and I will always take you with us through our life, we hope we make you proud. Stay with us, angel. Briana Tribute Jesse My Son Jesse Abrams would be Celebrating his 28th Birthday Today 08/31/92, instead he lost his battle to addition by an accidental Fentanyl overdose April 26th 2019. Our whole world changed that day, his two brothers are feeling the hole left behind, their children lost an Uncle future Aunt and cousins. His nephews lost their playful, loving, patient Uncle. Our Family gathers are less exciting with his laughter and great conversation absent, but it was his skill of being a great listener that made everyone granite to him from a young age. This disease took more than a loved one from us, it took our past, our present and our future. It took a person that judged no one, loved all people and helped to save many. We have always been to proud of our boys and Jesse held a special place being the youngest child of both families. He loved his Family fiercely and his work was with veterinarians but rescue Animals was his passion. I possibly have many years left here on this earth, when I think of the years ahead without him it becomes uneasy to breath and seems unbearable. My God have a special place for the ones that felt so much pain here on Earth. Peace to you all. Tina, Jesse Abrams (Momma) Aug 31,92-Apr 26,19 Jesse Tribute Andrea Taylor, we lost you to a heroin overdose August 4, 2006.  It was the worst day of my life, and my heart was shattered.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and miss you.  I wish I could have helped you more.  There is a hole in our lives without you.  Love, Mom Andrea Tribute Lindsay

My brother Jordan fought a battle I can't even comprehend. I was by his side through it all, our whole family was...
I will never stop loving you and I will never stop fighting for you. Although the magnitude of my grief is unspeakable I do hope you have found peace. The world will never have another one like you, not only were you intelligent and caring you were full of unconditional love. Your smile, your humor and unending ability to make the world shine are just a few of the million things I will miss. You were always so much more than your disease and your memory will live on forever. I love you Jordan.

Rutland, VT
Lindsay Tribute
Lisa MADISON In loving memory of my son Joseph P. Deane taken by a fentanyl overdose December 7, 2018. Joe is missed beyond words and will always be remembered as having fought the disease of addiction with the heart of a lion. Lisa Tribute Jodi Brian Anthony Grayson (BUG) 10/10/1991-9/23/2019 We miss you so much! You were so important to so many people and the world is colorless without you. Thank you for fighting to stay with us for as long as you could. I can’t wait to see you again! Jodi Tribute Delwyn To A.J Muss u mate. I think of the good times we had. Delwyn Tribute Julie

For my son, Tyler.
Lost so young. Taken too soon.
Not a second goes by we don't think of you.
Please guide those you left to a better way of life so another family does not need to endure the pain we have.
You were a wonderful son, brother, friend and are missed immensely.
We love you so very, very much.

Julie Tribute
Patricia Edward passed away 8/9/2016, When you were born that was the happiest Day if my life. Watching you grow was so precious. You brought me so much joy words can't express it. I watched you grow from and infant to a handsome young man. You were such a loving and caring young man.  You always made me laugh and always had live in your heart. For others. Your death has brought me much sadness to me and your family.  U wish you has told me me you had a heroin addiction.  You were depressed and just rrues to solve the problem. Yourself. Your accidental death of overdose to heroin breaks my heart. I will always live u my son you brought we great joy. I pray u are at peace now and look forward to the Day when we will meet again and I can hold u so tight and never let u go. Rest now my sin be free and sing with the angels. Patricia Tribute SHEILA MATTINGLY 2 ALL MY LOVED ONES WHO R GONE OR STILL IN ADDICTION-I MISS U-LOVE U BRADFORDSVILLE,KY,40009 SHEILA MATTINGLY Tribute Lisa

To my son Stephen <3 There is nothing sadder than wasted talent...We talked about it so many times... I'm so sad that your life was cut short... I know that you're at peace now… But I am selfish I want you here ...I miss my son so much 🙁 Love you always ..

Mount Olive, NJ, USA
Lisa Tribute
JoAnn My son, Erik Wainwright died of a meth/heroin overdose on 4-15-16, days after being released from jail, to the streets because the lawyer didn't think rehab was in his best interests. A shining soul shines no more. JoAnn Tribute Hayley Hayley, no words can describe how much you are missed. Life will never be the same without you. Until we meet again, my sweet daughter. Hayley Tribute Tina MY SON DANNY PAST AWAY OCT.26,2014. I KNEW HE WAS SICK BUT DIDNT KNOW HOW TO HELP HIM. HE WAS A VERY GOOD SINGER EVEN HAD A CD OUT. HIS ON YOUTUBE TOO. HE WAS SO EXCITED FOR THE UP COMING BIRTH OF A GIRL...HE HAS TWO SONGS. HE WAS MY OLDEST AND MY HEART IS BROKEN. I MISS HIM SO MUCH..DANNY I LOVE YOU AND IM SORRY I DIDNT KNOW HOW TO HELP YOU. MOM Tina Tribute kbenji My beautiful Brian, you are now free. Rest peaceful until we meet again. Your loving Karen 1147 kbenji Tribute Tonya M My daughter, Bethany Ann H, lost her battle with addiction 06/09/2018. She was 26 years, 3 months and 28 days old.
Posted 25/07/2018
Tonya M Tribute
Erika Little brother Colin: Nine months ago on 17 December 2013 you left me completely alone and broken. You were the only person who was a certainty in my future, and indeed you were my #1. I miss and think about you every day. I love you so much and I wish I could hear your laugh and guide you further and listen to your anecdotes and ask for your advice. I feel like you would have made a greater effort to stop if you had any notion of how much we will feel forever. Our family didn't deserve this, Colin. Way too final; you didn't realize deaths only happen to those still living. I'm angry you wasted or ignored all your opportunities and I hate that you kept secrets. We all played a part though, including the system, and I hate my role. I feel guilty and sick. Lonely. Erika Tribute Rona Remembering you always Even you let go to early, the sun still shines but the rain still falls,  opaque surrounds the window, even throughout your life struggles I close my eyes and see a kind smile on Your beautiful face knowing you are at a far better place, I tuck you safely in my heart forever and never forget our first meeting together! ! Forever and ever in my heart you 'll always be my one and only JB !! XO Rona Tribute Daniella Pappalardo My beautiful big brother, how i miss you so. I will fight everyday for you and continue to share your story in hopes to help others. I miss you every second of everyday and i will never be the same! We miss you J.A.C
Posted 29/08/2018
Daniella Pappalardo Tribute
Carrie In loving memory of My precious Son Casey Herrick Ward..... I failed as a mother to educate myself on addiction and instead used tough love which is the way I was taught. I will everyday live the rest of my life wanting to be with you on this journey. You were and still are one of the most amazing people I have ever known. I’m so so sorry I and life failed you. The loss of a child is a process that starts the day they pass and ends the day we join them. All my love my so so so very precious son CHW........ 10/01/90-10/14/18 Posted 28/05/2019 Carrie Tribute natalie wallace

James Ryan Woods. 24 April 1981 - 16 June 2016.
my number 1 son, my boy, my Ryan.
It's been 1000 days since I last saw my son, we shared some chinese food 1000 days ago and I heard his voice for the last time. , I told him I loved him very much for the last time 1000 days ago, then I heard him snoring and knew he was asleep in the room next to me 1000 days ago. Then 1000 days ago he got up and left this house without waking me, and it's been 1000 days since I knew he wasn't coming back. 1000 days without my son, 1000 days of worry, confusion and a lot of pain. 1000 days has felt like 1000 years.

Posted 04/03/2019
natalie wallace Tribute
Gina To my godson Connor Kelly who lost his battle with the demon on March 13, 2014. Words cannot express the empty way I feel today. The angels came and took you too soon. My love for you will always be there. I cherished the moments I had with you. Love your Fairy Godmother! Gina Tribute Maria

How I wrote it in my recent local paper...

Edmonds, WA
Maria Tribute

I was married to my husband for 5 years we lived happily together for these years and not until my husband traveled to Australia for a business trip where she met this girl and since then she hates me and the kids and the love She alone So when my husband returned from the trip he said he did not want to see me and my kids again so he took us outside the house and now he was going to Australia to see that other woman. So I and my children were now so frustrated and I was just staying with my mother and I was not treating well because my mother married another man after my father death so the man I married was not and my kids were so confused and I was looking for a way to get my husband back home because I love him and I appreciate him so much, so one day while I was surfing on my computer I saw a testimony about this DR EDDY the spellcaster testimonies Shared on the internet by a lady LINDA and I am so impressed that I also think of giving it a try. At first I was afraid but when I think of what I and my children are going through so I contacted him and he told me to stay calm for only 24 hours that my husband will come back to me and to my best surprise I have Received a call From my husband on the second day asking after the children and I called DR EDDY and thank him for sovling my problems, So this how I get my family back after a long brake stress up by an evil lady so with all this help from Dr EDDY, I want all of you in this forum to join me to say a huge thank you to DR EDDY and I will also advice for anyone in such or similar problems or any kind of problems should also contact him his email is ( he is the solution to all the problems and predicaments in the lifetime. Again his email address is ( )
(1) If you want your ex back.
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(5) If you want a child.
(6) If you want to be rich.
(7) If you want to bind your husband / wife to be yours forever.
(8) If you need financial help.
(9) How they have cheated you and want to recover lost money.
(10) if you want to stop your divorce.
(11) if you want to divorce your husband.
(12) if you want your wishes to be granted.
(13) Pregnancy to conceive the baby
(14) Guarantee winning cases of annoying courts and divorce no matter how stage
(15) Stop your marriage or relationship from breaking apart.
(16) if you have any illnesses like (H I V), (CANCER) or any disease.
(17) if you need prayers for the release of your child or yourself.
Again be sure to get in touch with him if you have any problems that will help you. Your email address is ( contact him immediately ... or call or whatsapp him number +2348160830324 MY NAME ARE:Pauline S

united state
paulines Tribute
Barb C My dear, sweet, gentle Shawn B-Z. It has been over 2 years since you left this world. I hope that you have found the peace you were longing for! I miss you so very much!!! it is supposed to get easier, but it seems to get harder everyday!! Do you know how much you were loved? Friends, family...we all miss you so!!!! I love you my Angel!!! I miss you more than words can say!!!!! I hope you found your "Flying Lion" and watch over all of us who LOVE and MISS you!!!!!!!! Love you with all my heart and soul!!!!!!! Mom 143 xoxo
Posted 19/07/2018
Barb C Tribute
Bob & the girls To: Thomas McLeod Brock I have another daughter and still the same strong wife, someone that I will love for this and my next life. We didn't know you'd left us for another place and we still don't know if you chose to quit the human race. You were my friend and as close as a brother I guess. We did things our way and made quite a mess. Surrounded by daughters, sisters and wives who tried to help us all through our lives and now that I am reaching into my own twighlight. We both know that parents are right! Bob & the girls Tribute Ma To My Son Lenny, I lost you to a heroin overdose 9 yrs ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you a hundred times. Miss you my boy. Ma Tribute Amy In remembrance of my mother, Yvette Marie Fitzpatrick November 6, 1967 - April 4, 2011 Love, your daughter Posted 09/06/2019 Amy Tribute Susan Lost my dear nephew Feb 29,2016 to a heroin overdose things have not been the same. Was with him the day he was born was there the day he died he was like my own child he was my sons best friend. He had so many people who loved him and still love him. We all need to reach out to help stop heroin use. Miss you and love you Samuel Haley RIP.. Susan Tribute Tasha To my cuz I’m so sorry you’ve been taken so young and so unfairly my heart is shattered you’ll always be remembered Untell we meet again 😔❤ Tasha Tribute Brandi Since this date i lost the love of my life.. But after 8 years of using this opened my eyes. I have 2 choices live or die.. N i choose to live... Not everybody gets this chance... I know its extremely hard on parents n friends who love that person... The best advice i can give is NEVER GIVE UP ON THEM.. They hate themselves already. Tough love DOES NOT WORK. Only makes things worse... Peace,love n joy to all   GOD SPEED brandi   I love n miss u jason pustelnik EVERYDAY,fly high babe Brandi Tribute Andrew On the day the news broke The leaves drifted down All twisted and brown And wasted with grief And the river it ran And the cliffs they stood still And in shock I lay down And I wept on the hill And the old man he came And he patted my head And in kindness he spoke I don't know what he said We miss you Dad. We will always miss you. You wonderful, stupid man. We are all free. Andrew Tribute Freda My gentle spirited son died on Sunday, May 22, 2016 from a fentanyl-heroin overdose.  He was my wordsmith, my wickedly humorous, tender hearted boy.  Forever adored. Freda Tribute Maggie My beautiful boy.Mark died 9/25/2016.he was 36 years old.Too soon!  He ad struggled for 2 decades..had been clean 7 mos.Looked so promising for first time....then his addicted ex girlfriend showed back up. faced with the stress of work,school,internship he fell back to making the stress and hurt go away. He was very loving and wanted to fix every one.We set up memorial fund in his name(mark loyd memorial narcan rescue fund) to provide narcan rescue kits free of charge to users,friends,parents,those who come into contact with life saving situations.  First responders should ALL carry the drug but time is primary..there should be a kit for every person connected with addiction. Funding for these kits is essential. Few insurance plans cover the kits.Those available over the counter are $135-600 SHAMEFUL. WHAT IS A LIFE WORTH!    Please do what you can in memory of your loved one to help others by writing your government(state and federal) officials.Search the Internet. There are tons of information and help...WE WHO SUFFER THE MOST PAINFUL LOSS must step forward to STOP THIS. There is strength in numbers. God Bless! Do what you can Maggie 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 Jennifer U. To my little brother and best friend. It has only been 8 month and I miss you so bad every day. There is not a day that goes by that your not on my mind. Finding you that day was the most horrific day of my life. That image has and will not ever leave my mind. You where such a special and very well liked young man. You will never be forgotten! Your family loves you so much!♥ Jennifer U. 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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