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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.

Show Your Support

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

Julie PRINCE was my favorite human being of all time. He had more influence on the trajectory of my course in life than any friends or family members. I miss him dearly.. my dearly departed Prince Rogers Nelson. Please don't let his death be just another overdose. We need to stop this deadly practice. ? Julie Tribute Leti

In honor of our son James Paoli
7/11/91-11/14/16 RIP

Denver, Colorado USA
Leti Tribute
your twin Mandy my twin,There is not a day that goes by I do not cry. There is not a day that goes by I don't think of you with every other thought. I am still so truly sad and trying to let you go. I still can't believe its true. But I'm lucky to go to sleep and dream with you. Jayden your daughter of almost 5 is doing very well. And the promises I made will remain unbroken. But the pain is unbearable at times. When I think of that morning Matt called to tell me and the words were "braindead" and " will not make it" I lay here and cry. I'm lost without you Mandy, I'm lost without you. I hear your laughter and feel our smile. Fly Mandy fly. Be the beautiful angel you were on earth and now in heaven. Watch over us as we live this life on earth and Jay and I will see you again at the end. Tell Brows I love her. Your twin and best friend your twin Tribute Becky My struggle only began 3 years ago with a injury at work many surgeries later I'm completely addicted to prescription pain meds many failed attempts to get clean and to many close calls to an overdose I reached a point I felt my life was over I'm a true believer in methadone maintenance it saved my life but not before it almost took my niece's life she got a heavy dose of heroin and fentyl thank the LORD she made her way into a populated store before falling out and CPR was administer by a customer but she was on a ventilator and placed in a medically induced coma for weeks we were not sure what her future was to look like eventually she woke up but she will never be the same she needs round the clock care and is basically a toddler again my niece is only 29 with her whole life ahead of her she has been battling her addiction since she was a teenager it almost took her from us and I see how it has taken its toll on our family and I do not want to put them threw it also I don't want to die or become a vegetable if you are addicted please STOP I know it's hard get help get help now before it's to late you are worth it you deserve to be clean and soberCatasauqua Becky Tribute Cathy We lost our beautiful 29-year old son on Oct. 19, 2014 from a heroin overdose. He was in a coma for a week before we had to let him go. Every day since then has been a challenge. My husband and I lost our first born, my second son lost his brother that he really didn't have time to reconnect with after so many years apart while Colin was trying hard to get his life in order. Colin leaves behind the love of his life with whom he had just purchased a "real fixer upper" and was in the process of thoroughly remodeling it when the drug took back control of his life. Our lives have been devastated, but we know Colin would want us to go on and be as happy as possible, while he is watching us from Heaven. I miss his smile, his constant energy, his intellect, and the way he took care of me like kindred spirits take care of each other.  I was his "momito,"  Words can not explain our grief.CAV, we miss you bigger than the world. Cathy Tribute Linda I lost my son this Christmas morning. He was clean for 10 months, had good job, car , apartment. We dont know why he gave in to his addiction. We will always love him and miss him.
Posted 06/01/2019
Linda Tribute
DJ To my childhood best friend, my baby sister. I know why you've chosen this path, the pain you have endured and the persistent nightmares of the past that cloud your mind. But drugs are just a bandaide, they won't fix things long term. They may give you temporary peace but I'm scared that they will also take you from us and we will never feel peace again. So I'm writing this in hope that you will come home before its too late, before I find myself writing on this site posting a tribute about your death. Although I can't fight your battles for you, I can promise you that you will never have to face them alone again. So please, "don't let go, keep hold" and remember "If you look into the distance, there's a house upon the hill. Guiding like a lighthouse, its a place where you'll be safe to feel at grace and if you've lost your way - I will leave the light on." Love you forever + always. -DJ.-Tom Walker- Leave a Light On-The second someone mentioned you were all alone I could feel the trouble coursing through your veins Now I know, it's got a hold Just a phone called left unanswered, had me sparking up These cigarettes won't stop me wondering where you are Don't let go, keep a holdIf you look into the distance, there's a house upon the hill Guiding like a lighthouse to a place where you'll be Safe to feel at grace 'cause we've all made mistakes If you've lost your wayI will leave the light on I will leave the light on I will leave the light on I will leave the light onTell me what's been happening, what's been on your mind Lately you've been searching for a darker place To hide, that's alright But if you carry on abusing, you'll be robbed from us I refuse to lose another friend to drugs Just come home, don't let go If you look into the distance, there's a house upon the hill Guiding like a lighthouse to a place where you'll be Safe to feel at grace 'cause we've all made mistakes If you've lost your wayI will leave the light on I will leave the light on I will leave the light on I will leave the light on I will leave the light onIf you look into the distance, there's a house upon the hill Guiding like a lighthouse, it's a place where you'll be Safe to feel at grace and if you've lost your way If you've lost your way (I will leave the light on) And I know you don't know oh, but I need you to be brave Hiding from the truth ain't gonna make this all okay I'll see your pain if you don't feel our grace And you've lost your way I will leave the light on I will leave the light on 'Cause I will leave the light on
Posted 30/08/2018
DJ Tribute
Lea Heidman Alyssa’s Story:Alyssa was born on February 13, 1994. Alyssa was a bright and beautiful girl that shared her love, laughter, and compassion with everyone she met.Alyssa grew up in a small community in Medina, Ohio attending Christian and Catholic elementary schools. She attended Medina High School and graduated from a private school in North Carolina. She continued to further her education attending Warren Wilson College and AB Tech, both located in Asheville, North Carolina.Alyssa had immense talent in artistic endeavors. She was very gifted in writing, drawing, photography and painting and was an avid connoisseur of all types of music.During adolescence, Alyssa, like many other young people, suffered numerous injuries such as a broken arm, leg and multiple oral surgeries through daily activities which necessitated medical treatment through which she was prescribed pain medication by a physician. As a result of the chemical composition of her brain coupled with the addictive component of prescription pain medication, Alyssa was predisposed to opiate addiction.Unfortunately, Alyssa succumbed to the lure of opiates during her attendance her first year at Warren Wilson College. Alyssa was introduced to heroin by her boyfriend at the time who became addicted to the same through his previous addiction to pain medication prescribed to treat sports injuries. Despite attendance at numerous rehabilitation facilities, Alyssa addiction remained even if she was not an active user. Specifically, the physical and psychological attributes of prescription pain medication remained in her brain biologically, thus, making her desire to stay sober a daily struggle.The story of Alyssa is one that repeatedly occurs throughout this country- an individual becomes addicted to prescription pain medication to treat legitimate illnesses and once addicted to that pain medication cannot either obtain or afford to purchase pain medication due to its high cost on the black market thus making heroin an appealing alternative as it is both cheaper and delivers a more concentrated feeling of euphoria than pain medication.As a result of her heroin addiction, Alyssa was fighting a daily battle to maintain her sobriety and avoid the whispers in her ears to use heroin. Tragically, Alyssa lost her battle with heroin on March 18, 2015, passing away in her room-alone. She was only 21 years old. Alyssa’s tragic death has touched so many lives as many people across this country are currently battling the same challenges that Alyssa battled for years and are often losing their lives to this addiction.Alyssa was full of life with an amazing will to live. She was extremely loving and she was loved by many. Her smile would light up the room and her laughter would fill it. She was also an excellent student with many ambitions, specifically, she wanted to help challenged children. In spite of all the beauty in her life, she was unfortunately unable to fight the ugliness…which was heroin. She did not want to be an addict. Nobody wants to be an addict.Heroin has become the fastest growing health epidemic in this country. The State of Ohio currently ranks #2 in the nation for drug overdose deaths, Heroin does not care what race or socio-economic background you are, if you are rich or poor, young or old, male or female. It exists in all of our communities and is growing at an alarming rate. Our communities quite simply cannot handle the numerous problems with which this addiction generates.Please join our mission….share our information….help us spread the awareness. Let Alyssa continue to educate and help people. www.fightingforalyssa.ortMedina, Ohio Lea Heidman Tribute Sienna & Darlene Hey little bro,Mom and I miss you deeply. Your giant bear hugs and dry sarcastic humor. Bright beautiful blue eyes and purposeful laugh. You made the world a better place, brought joy to those around you and always gave a mean foot massage. Whenever I hear Tracy Chapman or Neil Diamond I tear up. We love you. Sienna & Darlene Tribute Shaun To Steven I remember you and you were a good friend. Shaun Tribute Cathy I lost my youngest son, Brett, on April 27, 2015.  It was the worst day of my life.  I go through that day over and over in my mind and think of him and miss him every single moment.  The pain is unbearable at times, I just feel so lost.  I wish something could be done about this horrible situation of losing our loved ones.  I miss you every day Brett.....until God calls me to the other side. Cathy Tribute Wendy A tribute to my loving son Steven Register who decided that fighting his heroin addiction was too great and gave up all hope when he took his life 6 months ago. He is now forever 25 and in Heaven. Your mom, sisters, grandma and other family loved you more than you could have ever known. You were the greatest son I could have ever been given full of undeveloped potential. I love you with an everlasting love, only our Father in Heaven loves you more than I do. I miss you and have cried every day since you left this old world. I am sending a hug, a great big huge hug like you taught me to you today. My life will never be the same without you. I have begun painting and I call my it "Art inspired by Steven". You were so talented in so many ways, I am so sorry life here was so hard for you. Love you forever, I can't wait to see you again one day! Love, your Mom Wendy Tribute June TO MY DAUGHTER, LAURA - 8-18-79 - 1/30/16"HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS THAT PERCHES IN THE SOUL - AND SINGS THE SONG WITHOUT THE WORDS - AND NEVER STOPS - AT ALL"I "hoped" this day would never come. I never stopped "hoping" you would come back to me - I have always loved you. June Tribute Mum To: Andrew For my son Andrew Lee Lamp. My son Andy died May 25th 2011 of a drug overdose. My life as I knew it ended that day. Andy was an addict. He fought so hard to overcome his addiction. He just couldn't do it. he was so smart and witty. Andy could name almost every type of tree there was just by looking at it. I mean really, who can do that? On March 9th 2011 Andy did the most courageous thing he had ever done in his life. He gave me his two boys to raise. He knew he and their mom could not take care of them. I am proud to be his mother. Andy your boys are wonderful and they talk about you every day. They love you more than you could ever know, confident that you are out there looking after them. They are strong and brave. I will never let them forget you. I love you precious son. Mum Tribute Kim

4/7/94 - 8/28/18

My 24-year old son and only child was on the autistic spectrum. Sadly, he tried Meth which was mixed with Fentanyl and it killed him. I write that he was on the autistic spectrum because there is a misconception that people on the spectrum do not engage in substance use. Elias leaves a legacy of love, kindness and exuberance. Elias was buried on August 31st - International Overdose Awareness Day.

New YorkPosted 31/08/2019
Kim Tribute

We miss you so much Justin. Rest in peace. 2/27/78-3/16/14

Posted 31/08/2019
Britt Tribute
Mary In Loving memory of my beautiful son Matthew forever 17 . Forever loved and in my heart ♡♡♡Posted 04/06/2019 Mary Tribute Suzanne Aidan K. DiBernard Oct. 1991-Oct. 2019 - Forever in our hearts. We love you & miss you every single day. You're free from the pain and hurt now, be at peace our beautiful boy... Aidan was killed from snorting a lethal dose of fentanyl & carfentanyl, pure poison. This has to stop! Suzanne Tribute Sarah My dearest Friend Brittani,Its been a month and I can't believe it still. Not sure I will ever completely accept this. I wish I could hold you or talk with you one more time so I can tell u how very important you are to me and how happy having you in my life has made me.B you will be forever missed and never forgotten.I can't wait to see your face again.I love you.Love alwaysSarah  (your forever friend) Sarah Tribute Victoria On May 9th 20/20 I found my son Jesse past away in his apartment from an overdose I believe was Fentanyl I am waiting on the autopsy report right now I love you so much and miss you so much I know that you've had a hard life I hope that you have found peace with God and I know that you're in the arms of Jesus he had a heart of gold I miss your smile your laugh and your beautiful green eyes I miss you knowing that I can't have to pack right now it's killing me you always said you admired my strength and that I was very resilient right now I am not strong it's very hard everyday without you I pray and pray to see you again in a dream or vision I never ever expected what happened that day to happen and I know in my heart neither did you people have to pay for these overdoses it's called Murder and a lot of people are getting away with it Sons daughters wives brothers sisters mothers fathers are all passing away because of this Fentanyl and overdoses these people are good people they're not bad people we all have our demons and it's very hard how many people to fight them all I know I said I love you I miss you and I want you back so bad I love you forever always and Eternity mom Victoria Tribute Anna Vito--we love you very much and miss you every day, beautiful baby. You were the most wonderful friend and husband and father and brother and son. Heaven is so lucky to have you darling. Watch out for Jerry up there. Love, Anna and Vincent Vito (1992-2013) Seven years today Anna Tribute Amy

In memory of my awesome, beloved son Ian Blair, who overdosed on heroin at age 24 in March 2015. Like so many afflicted by addiction, he had so much going for him and was loved by many. We miss him!

Sitka, Alaska
Amy Tribute
Sam Sam was great at anything he put his mind to. He had an impressive wit and I loved to laugh with him. A tragic loss for family, friends, and all who will never have the privilege of being introduced to or influenced by him. I love you Tuna! I miss the hell outta ya! Joseph Ellis Sam Tribute Anne M Emerson Ryan- It's hard to believe you are really gone. Your bright blue eyes and beautiful smile are pieces of you I miss so much. The love and compassion we shared is irreplaceable and is locked in my heart forever. You had such a great personality, you lit up the rooms of every place you went and left ever lasting footprints in the hearts of each person you ever met. Life is never going to be the same without you. I will continue to be your voice, our voice, and fight for the answers, and fight for change so another family doesnt have to go through the devastation our family has. We miss you each and every day more then words could ever say!! Love you always and forever..
Posted 13/08/2018
Anne M Emerson Tribute

8/15/19 - In loving memory of my son Nicholas A Battista who died of an accidental overdose. He was the center of my life and I will love and miss him till we meet again...🙏😇💜.
Love you mom

Posted 16/08/2019
Stephanie Tribute
Shannon Houtz

I just found out that I lost a really good friend, 2days after the fact, due to an opioid overdose! I've overdosed several times myself, but I've been very lucky! I just wanna say it is very important to let the ppl closest to a person, because the hardest part of an overdose is not being able to say good-bye!

Anchorage, Ak
Shannon Houtz Tribute
Jessica Katherine Wiltshire Dear sister you are missed every day . May God keep you close and let you shine as the angle you were. I'm grateful for the time we shared. We all were bless by you . Until we meet again we love you.
Posted 20/08/2018
Jessica Katherine Wiltshire Tribute
Irene My biological mother tragically lost her life to an overdose recently. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to meet her. I am choosing to fight the opioid epidemic in honor of my beautiful mother. I will be forever broken that I never got the honor to meet her due to such a terrible illness. I love you mom.
Posted 15/08/2018
Irene Tribute
Jimmy John To Jimmy John, You will forever live in Brittany's and my heart until we meet again. We love you more than words can ever say and will miss you more than anything. I wish you would have let me know you'd hit hard times again. I was, and would have always been there for you. In our hearts forever, we love you. You were the love of our lives!!! Jen & Britta Jimmy John Tribute Linda It is really tough for a mother who has lost a child to write a tribute. Thinking about losing your first born child brings on a lot of pain and anguish. Loss for me now is everywhere, but I have come to realize so, too, is love. And it is this love I want to remember and write about in my tribute.My son, Jonathan, sometimes called Johnny by friends and family, in a word, was beautiful- both on the inside and outside. Johnny almost defies description; that is how totally awesome he was. If you met him, even for five minutes, you would never forget him. He was the quintessential extrovert. His friends could always count on him to get the party going. But, Jonathan was also a deep thinker, comfortable with showing his compassionate side, revealing his heart in both his words and actions.To those of us who knew him, I think we would all agree he will be remembered by three things: his legacy of love, his joy of living, and his never give up attitude. Jonathan was as not afraid of what the world had in store for him. He was my hero.Jonathan E. Squire, Jr. passed on January 12, 2015 by an accidental opioid overdose. He was 25 years old. Linda Tribute Linda Sorg Dear Jake, today's your 35th birthday. I'm missing you more than ever.I didn't realize how bad your pain and addiction was, for that I am truly sorry. I hate the fact that you died from a heroin overdose.July 6 is creeping up and it will be a year since you passed on. May you be out of pain and know how much we all love and miss you my son. Love always, the gang - Dad, Mom, James and Jacs Linda Sorg Tribute Shanti0608 Prince ~ forever in my life ? Shanti0608 Tribute Nicki Lerczak Adam Joshua, 1977 - 2015, my little brother, heroin overdose. He had a great voice, he was a big teddy bear, he loved to eat and cook, he loved the Grateful Dead, he was a sweet uncle, and a pain in the ass, and i loved him.Posted 01/09/2018 Nicki Lerczak Tribute Robbin O.G Thank you to all the courageous, strong, Santa Barbara moms, dads, brothers, families, friends, partners, and children who came to honor and remember "All Those Who Walked The Hard Miles, But Did Not Make It." "You're never forgotten". We had a beautiful purple circle of light on the beach".Recovery Fusion Santa Barbara, CA USA Robbin O.G Tribute Greg Dearest Monique,It's been quite a few years since you left us, but i think of you often, and i miss you heaps.Love alway's, Greg xxx Greg Tribute Mum To Whitney Dayle Carmack---7/8/89-2/15/13....My only child.....You will forever be in my heart. xamanu Mum Tribute Gail Johnson There is a road No simple highway Between the dawn And the dark of night And if you go No one may follow That path is for Your steps a alonePeace on your journey my sonPosted 26/08/2019 Gail Johnson Tribute Lenna I lost by brother, Louie last year and living without him is the saddest thing I'll ever have todo. You are missed Louie, we were supposed to keep growing up together. I only wish you got more time here with us. I love you. #forever26easton United States Lenna Tribute Damaris Lewis Remembering my child Kelly who died from alcoholism at 39 11/18/2019 I miss you so much Forever in my heart MomPosted 27/11/2019 Damaris Lewis Tribute Tess michaud Being an addict and seeing everything go on makes me realize how bad this is. I go to a methadone clinic thinking they would help me but instead they gave me a 15 minute time window to be there because I have a service dog that helps me and my anxiety makes me puke up my dose. It's sad when addicts are treated like it doesn't matter if we overdose, have a bad day, or anything goes wrong. It isn't fair for addicts to be treated this wayLisbon, CT, United States Tess michaud Tribute Fran Ciabattoni Dominic who passed away at the tender age of 23 in April of 2008 from heroin and prescription anxiety medication. We hope you are finally at peace. I look for signs from you everywhere and will continue to try to make contact with you until I reach the other side too. We're not the same since you left us. Our hearts are broken. You have left a huge void in this family. We miss you sweetheart more than words can say. xo Mom,Dad and Lex Fran Ciabattoni Tribute Frank K For you, Sara-bean,There are NO COINCIDENCES! National overdose day being recognized on THE DAY you passed (one year later)!!!?! Will never forget you ... you continue to inspire me to work harder with the newcomer who thinks they can use just once more.Love and miss you, Frank K Frank K 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 xoxoPosted 29/07/2019 Camille Tribute Karen Marie I lost my mother to a prescription drug overdose on August 31, 2013. My mother was trying very hard to stay clean from drugs after a 10-year addiction. To: My Beautiful Mom Sharon I am deeply hurt and feel a piece of me died with you. I pray that your soul is now free from addiction and you are now the person I once knew as a little girl. I look forward to seeing you again one day. I wish I could have held your hand and kissed you goodbye. You were too young only 53. We were supposed to watch my kids grow up together, go shopping and do all the fun stuff mothers and daughters do. I miss your laughter and your beautiful face. You will forever be in my heart, I love you always. Love, Your Daughter Karen Marie Tribute Danielle

My big brother struggled with addiction. After his second rehab he passed away from an overdose at 30 years young. It's so hard to continue living without him, I have a gaping hole in my life no one and nothing could ever fill.

Your life was a blessing
Your memory a treasure
You are loved beyond words
And missed beyond measure

Missoula, Montana, USA
Danielle Tribute
Jo Anne We lost my grandson Laddie Mullen tragically to a Fentanyl overdose November 6th 2016. His mom my daughter Heather McGuire was murdered 3/13/2012 .His little sister, brother and are still grieving terrible and never stop loving and missing him the rest of our lives😢 Jo Anne Tribute Sara DeRuyter In memory of Jason Lee Vogels April 8, 1976 - Sept 10, 2017 So deeply loved. Will never be forgotten. May eternal peace shine on your soul.Posted 29/07/2019 Sara DeRuyter 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 Pam I lost my daughter Sarah to overdose on May 3rd after a very long battle to addiction. The family closest battled right along with her through a revolving door of detoxes , rehabs, times intubated, rapes, beatings. She suffered. The effects if the disease go to the core of soul. For us ,the pain watching your loved one try to cope and get better is gut wrenching. Now the pain of losing her is the worse pain imaginable. She would have been 34 on August 31st. She will forever be loved Her life mattered Love Sarah's Mama Pam Pam Tribute Marisel, Ralph’s mom To my #1, Ralph son. You are loved and missed every day. The day of your birth, March 5, 1988. was the happiest day of my life. And the day you left this world, was my worst; May 27, 2012. My son, heaven gained a super excited angel. Till we meet again. Your Mom forever. I love you !!!!! oxox Marisel, Ralph's mom 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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