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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.


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

Cristina Paul-Your beautiful soul left this world too soon. May we all work to be kinder and more compassionate to one another. I regret that I could not be the person you needed when you needed someone the most. Rest in freedom and peace. Posted 31/08/2019 Cristina Tribute Bob On December 10, 2015 I lost my second son Aaron to a prescription drug overdose. He was a beautiful young man who left behind a young.child who he loved very much. I am heartbroken. I miss him everyday. The grief at time is overwhelming. My life will never be the same. So very sad and it did not have to happen. He was not only my son but also one of my best friends. He was there to support me when we lost his older brother to suicide. He was such a loving person. His smile could light up a room. He is missed.. Bob Bob Tribute Naomi To Tracie (passed 8/31/13) I miss you so much. Your death is hitting me really hard. It was such a shock. I hope you're at peace. Love Naomi Naomi Tribute Peter We love you and miss you every day Peter Tribute Karen I lost my 26 year old son 16 months ago to a heroin overdose.  He is missed by all who knew and loved him.  He had been clean and doing great. He went out one evening to help a friend with something and never came home.  He battled alcoholism and addiction for 10 years.  To redo things in his life would be a dream.  NOT EVEN ONCE needs to be spoken to everyone.  It only takes one time and your loved one is gone. Jeremy did not want to die, he had everything to live for.  A job, a newborn son, and a loving family.  We will forever love and miss him.  We are broken without him.  I LOVE YOU Jeremy Karen Tribute Haley To: Tracey You had a good heart and were always kind to people. You always made me laugh when I was miserable. We will miss you heaps Haley Tribute melanie I lost my grand son Dylan #forever20 will be 4 years in Nov and my Niece Caroline almost 2 years ago......#forever 34 If you are using please reach out to someone, anybody you do not realize the loss you leave behind. melanie Tribute marisel chavez In loving memory of my son Ralph 3-5-1988 to 5-27-2012. I will miss you forever, my heart is broken, you left me too soon my son. May God watch over you, until we see each other again. I know you didn't mean to overdose, but I know you thought you were superman. I will always love you with all my heart. Your my #1. Love, Mom oxox marisel chavez 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 always Sarah  (your forever friend) Sarah Tribute Riaan and Sharon Schoeman In sweet, loving memory of Renier Lifeguard Larry Schoeman, passed on of a drug overdose on January 27th 2013. The battle was just too big son - you fought it with your whole heart. You will always be in our hearts. Riaan and Sharon Schoeman Tribute Tina Franco I want to start by saying how sorry I am for all of your losses. I lost one of the greatest loves of my life, my first born, our wonderful son Gabriel. At six twenty in the morning on Friday February 22, 2013 I found my beloved son. That morning will haunt me forever. I wanted to go with him, protect him, make sure he would be safe. And at that moment my heart shattered. I will never be the same without him. I have such a void and I miss him all the time; so much that it takes my breath away. A day does not go by that I don’t look out the front window thinking I see you coming up the street. I am angry and saddened at the same time that I won’t get to have my tomorrows with you. I will never get to hear your funny stories or get to know your wife and children because there won’t be any - just silence. I hear you telling me: 'Mom I got this but you didn’t' and now I am left here to try and put the pieces together and make sense of what makes no sense and seems so unfair to me. Heroin is a horrible demon to fight and I wish with all my heart and soul you could have won the battle. I love you and will miss you forever. Please pray and watch over your brother Love always Mom Tina Franco Tribute Joyce & Gary Cory 01/04/86-11/05/16, you are one and only child. Dad & I miss you and love you very much! Your daughter Eden just turned 3 and although she had never met you she does talk and asked about her daddy often 😇 please keep watching over all of us! You will always be our son that we are very proud of 😍 we love you to the moon and back always! Mom & dad xoxo 😘 Posted 17/07/2019 Joyce & Gary Tribute Jami So many have passed already this mom being the hardest....I love u so much JODI LYNN FRANKLIN I'd love could have saved you; you would have lived forever WHOLE entire world Fireworks AND back Jami Tribute Debbie Its been 5yrs since we lost our beautiful daughter Carley. To overdose with fentanyl. Our lives will never be the same, without you. At that time, it wasn't a common thing. Now it's an epidemic. So many lives lost, & family's broken. Love you & miss you everyday. My Lucinda😇. Mamma Posted 01/09/2019 Debbie Tribute PEGGY JUSINO

On November 8, 2016, I lost my husband to this epidemic. He was a good man, with a kind heart and always willing to help anyone. His charm and his ability to blend well with anyone made him the life of any event. To be honest those who didn't know him wouldn't have a clue that he was an user. I don't ever call him a addict because he knew when to stop but the itch that you get when you do want it was his downfall. The day he passed away he had been 5 months clean and I was so very proud that he had gone that long without using but unfortunately the demons overpowered him and led him to his death. RIP Edwin Jusino

Jazzy To Lori, an amazing women who gave so much love and left us too soon. Thank you for being the best other mom I could have. I never got a chance to tell you how much you impacted my life - from what I eat to how I speak. I still can't believe that you're not here, but I think of you all the time. You are missed so very much and I love you beyond words. I hope that you are now at peace. Love, Jazzy (your other daughter) Jazzy Tribute Lisa Schneider I lost my brother, Bradley Schneider, on June 27, 2010 . He was 49 yrs old and was a son, a brother, a father and a friend to many. He was a momma's boy and when he passed our mom was never the same. She's joined him now and I know they're happy to be together again. I sure do miss them both❤️❤️ Posted 22/12/2019 Lisa Schneider Tribute Elvis Ariel It is so difficult to express what I feel ... a lot of pain, a lot of sadness. Elvis, I miss him every day. I always wonder what I could have done differently for you to be with us? What could I have done differently so that that monstrous disease had not affected you? But, I have to continue with the pain that I will no longer have answers. There is not a day that goes by without us thinking of you and missing you. I only have the memories, many of them full of hope that you would win the fight, like when you told me that last day, "Daddy, don't worry, I'm going to get out of this." You had plans, you wanted to improve; you wanted to do it for you and your son TJ. You were a good boy and a good son, you did not harm anyone ... you deserved another chance, you had already suffered a lot with that disease. But, God had another purpose with you. God wanted you to not continue to suffer and He took you with Him. I only hope that you are calm and at peace, I know you are in a better place. Someday we will meet again and this time we will do it better. I will always love you ... your Dad! Elvis Ariel Tribute Patricia My son Richard was 30 years old. He took what he thought were two percocet but they were actually fentanyl and the friends that gave him the pills waited 3 hours to call the ambulance. He was pronounced dead at 1:30 am June 21, 2017. My son will never be a husband or a father but he was an amazing son, uncle, nephew, cousin, and brother. I miss him every minute of everyday. Until we meet again. Patricia Tribute Kelly James Michael Mussaw we love you and we miss you. You will always be in our lives, hearts, and minds forever. Until we see you again please watch over all of us that are still here. Kelly Tribute Margie In honor of my beautiful, sweet and sensitive son, Mitchell. My son passed away from an overdose at the young age of 22. My life is forever altered but I am trying to find ways to go on, not without him, but with him in my heart and as my inspiration forever. My dear boy, Dad, Jared, Sam and Jack all miss you but find it too hard to talk about it. I will never stop talking about you, never stop sharing about you. In my heart I believe life was never going to get any easier for you. I am sorry my dear. We need to do a better job with our youth, addictive illness, and mental illness. You tried my boy, you tried to hang in there but it was not meant to be. I miss you every single moment of every day. It has now been three years, as of 6/11/13. It seems like yesterday. Forever loving you, my son, Mitchy. Margie Tribute Trica To my beautiful daughter, Amy, who died on January 2, 2013 of an overdose. I am struggling every day just to stay alive because I do not want to live without you. I'm so sorry I couldn't help you and that I was not with you when you died. I will never, ever get over it. I know I have to go on for your children, Bailey and Will, but I am hurting so much and I miss you every minute of every day. I wish I could make every young person out there understand the pain that comes with drug use, for them and for their families. I love you my baby girl, forever, Mom Trica Tribute Paula My sweet sister Donna miss you everyday Paula Tribute Denise This is for my beautiful daughter Amanda. She lost her battle July 22, 2015, after being clean and sober for more than 6 months. We are all so proud of her, but the struggle of addiction is a life long battle. She was a beautiful spirit who left her mark on this world. I am very Blessed and Honored to have been her mother. I know she is with me wherever I go, but until we are united together again, my heart has a hole that will never be filled. My love for you is ever lasting Amanda! Today, Tomorrow, and Forever......Mom Denise Tribute Paula Eric, you will never be forgotten. Smart, personality beyond most kids your age, witty, loving, warm, caring, a friend to so many who tried to help others with their addiction. I know you are helping others even now, and hope you are hanging out with Kev Kev. I love you. Aunt Paula Paula Tribute Yvonne Johnson On 8/8/2013 our loving son passed away from heroin overdose. He was at a friend's house who left him for hours as he thought he was asleep. Graeme Andrew Johnson was born 27/10/1984. Taken far too soon. We will always love and miss him. Rest in peace son. Love you loads xxxxx Yvonne Johnson Tribute Adrea My brother Cole Schuler.  He actually was in treatment at the Milkwaukee VA Domicilery Sober Living program. He overdosed inside the facility in his room.     Everyday you are missed and. We will bring change and help prevent this from happening to others.   I know you were tired of the fight.  Now you are at peace my little brother.   I think of your smile and laugh. Cole Schuler 02/11/89 to 11/08/15 Adrea Tribute Lydia Nancy

In loving memory of my sweet brother Joe. I think of you every single day. Your laugh, your smile, I miss you so much Bro.

Beaumont Ca
Lydia Nancy Tribute
Michelle Cheryl, Kathy, Michael, Lawrence, and other friends and acquaintances lost to addiction. Others have chosen to end their suffering at their own hand. Gone but never forgotten. I pray for recovery for all. Michelle Tribute Tammy  Hodack Brandon Hodack 11/27/84-2/3/13 My beautiful boy. Your life mattered. Not a single day goes by that your not missed or thought about. I love you always. Sorrento, La Tammy Hodack Tribute Jose Jose Antonio Thomas, 33 from Webster, Ma. He was my best and only real friend, and Father to our children. He passed away in March of 2020 after losing his little brother in January of 2020 to the same fate. I find myself crying every day still, this hurts so much. Jose, I love you and I hope you're in a peaceful, warm place where all of your worries and sadness is gone. Love, Kristine Juju and Kennie Jose Tribute Taylor My Mom 🖤 Cincinnati, OH Taylor Tribute Lisa S. Carl S. born 6-6-94 dies 6-10-94 Carl, no words will compare to the pain and suffering each moment without you. I have the best memories of your smile and laugh and the love you spread to all around you. I hope there is a better plan for you where you are, you deserve happiness and peace my son, I love you xoxoxoxoxox Lisa S. Tribute Sonnie In memory of my little brother Zachary Murray may he Rest In Peace Columbus, Ohio franklin county Sonnie Tribute Sam Blois To: Seamus Finnigan Miss you every day Sam Blois Tribute Susan Schmidt

My Precious Daughter Alyssa Marie Schmidt 11/17/ 95. 5/28/16 She Snorted heroine one time and my world shattered forever. I’m so broken

Posted 16/08/2019
Susan Schmidt Tribute
Jill To my best friend Katrina Burke I miss you everyday you passed away on my birthday 6/17/15 to heroin I keep you close to my heart n I try to come visit you regularly miss your smile laughter goofiness most of all that big ❤️ Of yours!!! Until we meet again love you babygirl Jill 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
Your Mother, Robin Andrew, my love…20 years was not enough. There will never be enough memories or pictures to staunch the pain I feel thinking about you dying alone from a heroin overdose. I know you didn’t mean to do it, I forgive you. After 8 months clean and sober I thought you might have it licked this time. I’m sorry, mostly for myself as I’ll never see you accomplish the dream you had of pitching for the Arizona State Baseball team. I’ll never hold your babies and see what a wonderful father you would have been. I’ll see you in Heaven soon Son. Love, Mama. Your Mother, Robin Tribute Patty Farrell To my beautiful baby girl Laree from New York, who was only 18 years old and passed peacefully on 3/16/13 from an accidental heroin overdose. You were and still are my life, my breath and my world. You tried so very hard to battle those demons baby and I am so proud of you for that, but they won. I miss so much, your laugh, your spunk, your love for your friends and always having a blast and I could go on and on, I just miss YOU constantly. You had more people who loved and adored you baby, I just wish you knew it then, but those demons messed up your mind. You are missed by them all. I know you are now helping others and I'm sure with all your energy you are one of god's best! I cannot wait to hug and kiss you again. When god's ready for me, I know you'll be waiting. Life is and never will be the same without you my baby girl. The best thing I ever did in my life was have you! For all of Eternity, Love MOM Patty Farrell Tribute Billy Gregg Yesterday Alex R. overdosed and died after being 16 months clean. It was his first time to relapse. That morning he posted on his Facebook: "Wake up, have a nice cold glass of water. Do 15 minutes of stretching, 10 minutes of meditation. Cook myself the usual breakfast - egg whites and oatmeal. Watch the sunrise.  One hour in, and my day is already amazing. Who else is already having a great day?"  This amazing day ended with his long-time girlfriend coming home after work to find him dead. Alex was 23 years old, getting ready to attend University in British Columbia, had a car, apartment, prospects for work. It was all coming together for him, but he picked up and used one more time. One last time. Alex leaves behind an amazing family who has done so much to support his recovery. Please pray for them. Billy Gregg Tribute Elaine

I lost my first born son, Dylan Justis Lancaster, to overdose on 3/23/16. He was 21 years old. His father passed of natural causes 20 days prior and he was trying to numb his pain. My son was witty, funny, smart, beautiful & kind. He was my bright & shiny star. I grieve for him every single day. I am so sorry I couldn't ease your broken heart son.

Villa Rica, GA
Elaine Tribute
Jennifer Archer

Matthew Timothy Snyder
September 9, 1989 - July 20, 2017
Matthew was an adventurous, resourceful, and talented person. Matthew was loved by so many some of which include his mother (Kathy) and father (Scott), 4 brothers and a sister. He put everyone's needs before his own. Matthew loved his kids, Keegan (2yrs old), Ava (6 yrs old) and his fiancé Shayna more than anything in the world. He could be found working on a project at his job with Local 80 Sheet Metal Workers or playing games with his nieces and nephews. Matthew knew how to put a smile on everyone's face! Matthew's smile will be missed. Matthew had a heart of gold. We are committed to raising overdose awareness so that no family has to endure this heart wrenching pain.

Warren, Michigan
Jennifer Archer Tribute
Ryan’s Mum

My number one son, my Ryan, my boy who looked like me and could see right through me.
I love you my funny, fussy, handsome, clever, awkward, helpful, annoying, caring, son and I miss you so much.
You weren't the only one who died, my life ended that day too.
It hurts . . . . . . .
Mum. xxxxx

Cambridge. England.
Ryan's Mum Tribute
Anjuli My husband and father of 3 boys died September 22, 2014. He died from a heroin overdose. Not a day goes by I don't think of him.. I miss his, his children miss him. I'd do anything to have him back just one more day. Fighting and praying against this terrible disease. Anjuli Tribute Michele Duncan (Mother) My beautiful daughter. It's been 37 days now since you were called home. I don't know how I've gotten through this far. This is the longest we've gone without speaking since you learned how to talk. I'm so sorry you left this world alone, I hope you didn't feel any fear. I'm not going to rest until I find out what happened to you, for real. I will continue to raise your babies as you would've. And they will always, always know how much you love them and that they are your world. As you are mine. If you didn't know that, I'm sorry!!!You have always been the light of my life. I not only love you, but I have always admired you. You're beautiful, funny, generous, smart, stubborn, independent, curious, adventerous, courageous, I could go on all day. You will always be a part of my everyday life. I hope too see you in my dreams, baby girl!!!!! Always and forever, Mommy Michele Duncan (Mother) Tribute Mike Back in 2017, one of my two nephews, Jason, lost his life, and the rest of us lost a light! He had his challenges with drug addiction much of his adult life. He had a great sense of humor, was incredibly caring, a great musician, and was always had a job or working, all the while battling various forms of drug addiction. I believe sometimes people feel and empathize so much that their escape is in the form of drugs, and he felt for all. At the young age of 35, we all lost a son, brother, nephew, friend, and father...and a beacon was lost! We love and miss you Jason!! Mike Tribute Barbara My son Aaron died from an overdose of Heroin August 11, 2013. I miss him more than I can express. He was only 23 years old, way too young. I miss his smile, his laugh, his hugs. He was such a great guy, so many people loved him. He was so much more than a heroin addict - he was a son, a father, a brother, a friend. He loved baseball, and gummy bears, but he loved his son Cody the most. I am now raising Cody and pray that I can help Cody know who his daddy was, he is to young to remember him. So sad. Barbara Tribute Christy My beautiful daughter, Lexe Aspen Downer, age 18, died April 9, 2014. She is so giving and caring. She would help anybody!  Heroin took her life. So young, sweet, and precious with so much potential. She would have outgrown it if she was given more time. Unfortunately, heroin is killing our young people before they have a chance. I luv you Lexe and miss you so.  Mom. Christy Tribute Annmarie & Lilyrose My beautiful child . You will never be forgotten . Despite your struggles your heart remained the most gentlest . Rest now with Jesus in his peace and love . Lilyrose will never forget her mommy and will always love you to the moon and back . I'll see you over the rainbow one day 💕💕💕💕 Shavertown , PA Annmarie & Lilyrose 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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