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.
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
LEARN MORE NOW
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
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.
My only son died 10-08-2003 from a prescription drug overdose. I miss him so much, he was my baby.
To my daughter, a warrior and fighter, a hilarious girl, a friend and a love. You were so very loved, and you are so very missed. 1/22/97 - 12/22/14Posted 31/08/2019
We miss you our dear Melissa who passed away on Aug.31,2009. Love, Your family, and friends.
In memory of Kane Lewis who passed away from an accidental overdose 31/8/2011 aged 23 in South Wales,uk. Kane was a kind, loving lad who everyone loved. He was diagnosed as having ADHD as a child along with other mental health issues. We believe if he had the help he needed at that time he would not have drifted into drug abuse. Just before his death, Kane was starting to get his life back on track but after a bad weekend he turned once more to heroin. This time he overdosed and his body was found 3 days later by his mum and aunt. We loved Kane and we know he loved us all especially his sister Demi. He was not a bad person, just one who was very vulnerable and unfortunate. There were those who took advantage of him and led him into life as an addict. We are very proud of him despite the life he led because one thing never changes - he never forgot his core values. Kane would help anyone, give anyone his last penny and it seems so unfair for him to have to die all alone like that. We miss him terribly and our lives will never be the same again. All we have now are our memories and we cherish them with all our hearts.
Mam and nana
To Zachary: My first born, sometimes I still can't believe you're no longer on this planet. I lost you on 06.28.16 at the age of 25, 4 mths after your birthday. Your sisters, brother and stepfather and I miss you terribly. We miss your energy, your positiveness, and your kindness. I love you my sweet baby.
My sweet boy, Johnny, passed in January 2015. Since then I have kept a journal of reflections. This is one I wrote a month after he passed.They never met anyone
Quite like Johnny Squire
And they were convinced
They never would.
No one could dance like Johnny
Sing like Johnny
Laugh like Johnny
Love like JohnnyI miss you. I love you. Always, Forever. Mama
Linda C squire
We lost our beautiful son Matthew Kenneth Peckham on Sept.4, 2012. He was a shining star in our lives and will forever be missed. He only struggled for a very short time with the demon heroin and for years he helped others overcome addiction. Our lives will never be the same without this special soul, my only son. 27 yrs was not long enough for this mom's broken heart. I love you Matthew, forever and always.
Mary Peckham, Matthews Mom
Life was cut just too short for all the friends I have loved and lost. Gone but not forgotten. From Herion to HIV and quite a few from HCV
National Allliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
NAMA R of Florida
END THE DRUG WAR
To: Cory MonteithHi Cory. Maybe I don't have the right to write you a letter but I just wanted to thank you for having been and still being so inspiring. I won't remember you for the way you left, but for the ways you saved every single one of us. As Finn you taught us that everyone has a second chance and we'll never thank you enough. You'll always be in my heart.
With love, Valeria.
My son and light in my life went to heaven a year ago October 24. My dear husband found him in his old room from an overdose of heroin. He only struggled with addiction a short time but it consumed him from the very minute he tried it. He relapsed and used two times before the drugs took him from us, leaving a broken-hearted family and the woman who was to be his bride in 10 days. Never does a day go by when he is not remembered and missed. Ethan - you are in our hearts forever and we will always think and dream of what could have been........Mom
My son passed away 1/26/2013 at the age of 24. They say cardiac arrest from accidental overdose. I love and miss you so much. You were my first born and only son. I am so lost, heart broke and feel guilty because I was not there with you and I could not help you. I love u son
In remembrance of Kory Simmons a bright light that dimmed too soon.USA
My love..... missn you terribly.....now you are safe and out if harms way....RIP my son love momReno nv
Rest in Peace Skylar Baldwin
R.I.P. Michelle Lynn Fletcher 8/29/89-4/3/17. Gone but never forgotten. Fly high baby girl.Posted 18/08/2019
This is very hard to even except still in my brain .My son died of a overdose on Oct 12 2015 25 years old .He struggled with his disease for 5 years .I found him 6 times did cpr and brought him back with my husbands help on 2 of them also with the help of EMTS and police .I always heard him fall on the floor in our house or a big bang so I would run to his room .In and out of rehabs for 5 years .He finally was clean for a year and 6 mouths.We were so proud of him I thought our life would slowly get back to normal. We didn't know what was normal anymore. When he ran into a old friend that he grew up with as a child.This so called FRIEND offed my son his demon of choice which was heroin. I found him on October 12 2015 on him bed dead from his 7th overdose.I didn't here him hit the floor this time .I threw him on the floor and began CPR nothing was working then I called 911 and that was it he was gone they tried for so long to bring him back my beautiful son. He had a heart of gold he was a thoughtful child everyone loved my Russell He was a functioning addict.He never stole a thing from anyone .He always worked and had money to pay for thing on his own .He just didn't want to better himself I think he thought he couldn't.This is what the drugs do.Now for another part to add.My beautiful daughter Bonnie had a pain pill addiction .For years on and off from 3 accidents. Pain management Doctors get your children addicted . But my husband and I never even new she was hiding it so much from us .We know she wasn't handling her brothers death good at all .She had a Beautiful baby boy Conor he is the joy of our life born on Sept 18 2015 He was born drug free .We had no idea she was taking all theses pill for back pain .Her brother Russell only had a life with his nephew for 3 weeks .Well I found my daughter Bonnie who lived with her baby and her boyfriend in their apartment dead of a overdose which she said she would never do heroin because it killed her brother on March 8th 2016 she was 29 .My sons death and my daughters. I will never ever get over this. They were the love of my life my children new this it didn't matter because of their addiction .Please parents don't think your kids are telling you everything.If you suspect something go with your instincts . My daughters death is still under investigation.We feel someone came and left her like this . I needed to tell my stories for others .Watch your children be aware .If I can save anyone else life .For my loving memories of my Bonnie and Russell my soul is so lost without you two.My heart will never mend.I miss you two with all of me love Mamma girl .
MIchael Bradford Ragone died at 30 years old on January 17,2016 of a heroin/Fentanyl overdose. He was ashamed of his disease and may have asked for help .... and been more open to it .. if the stigma around it was not so great.Charlotte NC
In loving memory of Troy Curtis who lost his battle on February 20th, 2014.
My most recent boyfriend of 2 years died of a drug overdose a month ago on July the 29th 2016. His name was Travis. He was caring, funny, always giving and trying to help others. His smile was the brightest id ever seen and always lit up the whole room. I remember the day you slipped up and "tried" things. It was so hard to live with you, you became mean and bitter. We went from having good times to you not wanting to do anything anymore.. All you did was want to be in bed. I slowly watched the man i was in love with turn into someone else. You wouldn't open up to me.. You lied to me, you even blamed me. You didn't want help. You broke my heart when all i wanted was to save you. Travis i know who you really are and im so sorry you lost yourself in this nasty world. I was always here for you and never would have judged you.. I'm so glad i got to tell you i loved you the day before you died. We had such an unfinished story.. Even after all i went through i still wanted you. I wasn't gone. I was waiting on you to get clean. You did so well for months and i even got to see you and your sober face . your beautiful smile. The last time i saw you, you were sober and beautiful and that's how i choose to remember you. I never thought i would lose you. I cry myself to sleep every day. I think of you every second and this has been the hardest thing i ever went through.. I wish you would have opened up to me. ): you are the most beautiful man i've ever laid eyes on and your soul fit mine like a puzzle piece. You are absolutely irreplaceable. I will never understand why god needed you more than me.. It was hard enough trying to be your friend while you were an addict, but i was. & now after my heart breaking from your addiction, my heart breaks for your loss. I have been crying every day for a yr and a half while you were alive and now i have probably a whole other year to go. This has been unreal. I miss you SO much Travis John. I will never replace you. You were my soulmate, my best friend. Its so sad that someone so sweet, generous, and giving as you could get so caught up by something so evil. I wish i could talk to you one more time.. You will always be in my heart travis. Now all i can do is try and help others. I know that's what you would have wanted. I love you more than words can express. My heart hearts.. RIP sweet angel. 24 years old was way too early. God gained a handsome angel. All of my love until we meet again. Love always, Kelsey ?
David was full of life, when he walked into a room you knew he was there. I miss my son everyday. Can't wait to see you again my, you were my strength and supporter in life. I will carry you forever in my heart.New Carrollton, MD, USA
Memories of my son Kevin died 23rd October 2001 aged 28 years from a heroin overdose, my lovely son who will never be forgotten, who lived life on the edge fighting his addiction every day. I knew he was getting weary, he told me as much the day before he died.RIP Kevin. Life goes on but my heart is still broken. Much Love, Mum. Xxxxxx
For Sonia Nicole or “Nikki” the best friend I ever had my whole life, some one I wanted to know until old age. Gifted artist, brilliant mind and loving spirit. May you fly free from all your worries and troubles now and forever. Ended her battle with Heroin 2 days after her 30th birthday on June 30th. May no one suffer as you have suffered, I miss you and wish I could have prevented everything.
I love you Dad. You are gone way too soon. Im heart broken. I love you more than words
This is in memory of my son "Leo" who left us on Tuesday, May 6, 2008. He was my first born and my only son. We miss him every minute of every day. My daughter always called him her protector now she says he is still her protector, he just protects her different now. I am sad that his sons will not know what a wonderful, caring and amazing man their DAD is. Our life has changed so much since he has left. I always told him that he was the light of my life and my heart hurts so much every day. I know that that we will be together again someday, so until then I will continue on with a broken heart
Helen, Shauna and Evie
I miss my daughter and just to know that whoever sold her the dope is probably living his/Her life but my daughter was murdered and lost her life at the age of30 leaving behind 5 children .Nashville,Tn. USA
Dearest son, You are so very loved and cherished by me and your older brother , John. There is a quiet spot in the forrest here and I visit with you everyday. I write all about you, every detail. Even your favotite songs and our "secret chats Love is stronger than grief and sorrow. MOMBoston, MA
In memory of my mom, Teresa Heath, who died of an alcohol overdose on May 25, 2016, at age 59. Fly. Little Wing. Your daughter, Amie
Everett was a beautiful person and his soul and the impact he had in my life and heart will live on in my soul forever. I am a better person for having known him and feel lucky to have had the time we shared. Fly On and Everglow Everett and I seriously love you too. ❤️Posted 25/08/2019
I would like to pay respect to and express sorrow for all who have died as a result of a futile "war on drugs" which in reality is a war on people. So many deaths would not have occurred if we had leaders who had the courage to take drugs out of the hands of organised crime and treat problematic drug use as the health issue that it really is. Until this happens the number of sad tributes will only grow longer.
We lost Miranda Lynn (24) on 11-27-2015. She was a beautiful, brilliant, fun loving, talented young woman with a bright future ahead of her until she was caught in the grasp of this horrible disease. She left behind a mother, father, brother and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles that all love and miss her dearly. She fought a tough battle for just under three years and wanted so much to put it behind her. She helped countless others maintain there sobriety, but for some reason she never asked for help when she was struggling. The tributes that were posted on Facebook by her friends both inside and outside of the recovery community exemplified how many people she touched during the short time that she was with us. Some sense of comfort comes knowing that she is finally at peace. She will be forever missed.Love Daddy.
Daddy,I can't believe you're gone. I know how hard you fought your addiction your entire life. I am so proud of you for your 24 years alcohol free. The last 7 months that we got to spend together when you were clean were the best months of my life. I'm so glad you got to dance with me at my wedding. I will never know why you relapsed and will always wonder if there was anything I could have done. I will pray every day that you know how much I love you. Please always be with me.
To my buddy Leigh, you left way too soon sweetie! I think of you every day and wish you were here. I will never forget you bud. I love and miss you so much. Until we meet again keep soaring on the wings of an eagle
On 3 March 2012 my family's life was forever changed. My beloved first born child - my only 26 year old son Marshall Jean de Meillon slipped away in the early hours. His death was as a consequence of a heroin overdose. He was a mere 10 days from celebrating his 27th birthday. My heart is forever altered by his birth and broken into a million little pieces by his death. Each day I pick up another shard of my soul and try to piece it together to weave it back into some semblance of a new "normal". A "normal" that does not include my son, my Marshall; my only boy child. The guilt, the missing, the endless ache of his loss - does not go away. Yes it moves in waves but it moves inexorably day and night and is relentless in its mission to batter your bleeding heart. Marshall Jean de Meillon - MY SON - made me love more, learn more, weep more and grow more into the person I am today - imperfect and battered but still his proud and living mom - a grief warrior that cries out in sympathy for all the other families walking a similar journey to ours. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you gather your million little pieces and try to move on.
Margot van Ryneveld
Remembering my son Davey Gonzales. 01-02-1984 to 08-09-2014. Davey had two severe injuries that lead to drug addiction. However, he detoxed as he didn't want to be dependant any longer. It took him eight days to feel normal again. He was happy, free, and returned to work. That night changed his life forever...he went to a store and was a victim of a crime of gun violence and was shot in the head. This lead to serious drugs being administered, a loss of an eye, sinus cavity, and broken jaw. Once he started recovering physically with more surgeries ahead, he was once again drug addicted and suffered from PTSD and depression as a result of this incident. Davey overdosed and is now gone. Those of us that are left behind...well we are forever changed and miss him dearly. So please reach out and just listen or guide someone towards help/treatment. This may be the change someone needs.Toledo
For my son, Tyler.Minneapolis
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.
Cait was born into a large Catholic family. She had just one older brother but many aunts’ uncles and cousins. We had family dinners, attended church, CCD classes and girl scouts. She played softball and field hockey, not being into those sports she did Cheerleading from 2nd grade until senior year of High school. She grew up in a normal loving family. Cait was my only daughter, my best friend. I miss our Mother Daughter times immensely. Cait loved small children, animals and her family. She was always the friend people went to for advice and support. And she always gave it whole heartedly.Shrewsbury
Not a day goes by that I don't miss my older brother, Sean. He was one of the most benevolent people alive.
I lost my son on 3-4-2017 of a drug overdose he was a star athletic in football and disc had a associates degree in auto mechanics.also just got a master Subaru technitions degree had blonde hair and blue eyes so handsome worked at the same job for 16 yrs addiction does not decrminate he was awesome son it has destroyed are family so defestating I am his momma and I will not ever be whole again my heart is broken and will never meand.please reach out for help my son wouldn't because he was assamed and would have been stigmatis that would have been better then death .I'm praying Everyday for a cure and for all that suffer from this horrible diesese please God help us all amen .Jefferson pa
My family suffered a great loss on June 10, 2016. My 22 year old niece lost her battle with heroin. Shelby, as so many others, was a beautiful, smart, passionate young lady,who lost her daughter and sank into a deep depression. Shelby will forever be able to hold her precious Lexi. They will forever be loved and missedI love you Lu 8
My family will be honoring Shelby with an International Overdose Awareness event in Mount Holly, NJ 8.31.17Mount Holly, New Jersey USA
Dearest Little Sister, TammieI judged you harshly. I blamed you. I did not understand. I did not know the power of addiction. I hate the years it took from us. I hate the pain it caused your kids. But, now...baby, now I get it. Now, I understand. Some day I will hold you and tell you I love you. Some day I will sing you to sleep again. Someday I will look in your beautiful green eyes and ask you to forgive me.Until that day, There will always be an empty place in my heart.I am so sorry. I love you.
Satara Nicole S. 6-11-1987 to 2-4-2017We met in the fall of 2006 at a Movie Theater in Hollywood, CA called the Arclight. And instantly there was a special bond that evolved over a 11 year period. I would always tell people and even today who ask in a voice of pure joy say "We Were Friends" who just loved and excepted each other. We gave each other a gift of love and friendship. Not one phone call or text message ended without us saying "I love you". Satara's gone but she wasn't the kind of soul that disappears or dies out. She is with her favorite people and family everyday sending love to them. In my life, I have never known anyone more beautiful, more kind, and more loving than you. We will celebrate you and love you for all that you are. I want you to chase your dreams. I want want you to fly higher. I want you to enjoy all the adventures life throws at you. But when you are done dreaming, flying and achieving don't forget there is someone waiting for you at the place where it all started. MY BEST FRIEND I LOVE YOU. I MISS YOU
My Dad, Eric, passed away almost 3 years ago from a combination of heroin and Xanax plus other drugs. He died on 10/21/2012. On that day a big part of myself died with him. I really took the time to destroy myself and had I not have moved away from Philadelphia, I believe and so does my husband, that I too would have died and left the unmeasurable amount of guilt, grief and self destruction to MY children. I am a heroin/opiate addict myself. Every year I write a tribute to my father, Eric. And every year I try my best to educate people about addiction and harm reduction. Sometimes it sticks and sometimes it doesn't. We have a very long and tedious road ahead before the common public will be able to not look at people with addiction issues as junkies/sleaze balls. Dad...as always I love you. I miss you EVERY damn day and I hope we will meet again. I pray for you. And I hope you are at peace. This has not gotten easier yet I have learned to somehow go on. It really pains me to even say that much. I assure you though you will never be forgotten. This is not goodbye. This is I will see you sometime again. For now...rest in peace Daddy. Love, Erica
Adam, my best friend and love of my life, we lost you too soon. 7/25/18. Thankful for all the sweet memories and moments, my time w/ you was such a gift. You are so loved and missed. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Our lives will never be the same w/o you— losing you left a big hole. Miss your hugs and your laugh. You fought hard. Your faith and your kindness inspired many. You will never be forgotten. Love you always. Til I see you again.Posted 29/08/2019
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
My heart aches every second of my life for my son Joseph D. Kirby. He was an outstanding son, husband, father , grandson, brother and man. His death has destroyed so many lives ..Posted 26/08/2019
I love you to the moon and back, Cory. I've tried to understand every single day since you've passed, "Why?" But it always leaves me with no answers. Except I know that you were loved that day, and that you left the world with love in your heart. I am so grateful for our time together, and for the lives that you touched. I know you're with me in Spirit, and with your family, children and friends. You're always in our hearts. Be free and whole now! I love you so much, and I always will.
In loving memory of Jesse James. Rest in paradise. You are loved.
Thank you for all that you gave to your peers, you are loved, respected, missed, celebrated and valuedPosted 26/06/2019
Dear Cory,It's been nearly 2 months since you gone. It is extremely hard time for your family, for your friends, for us - fans and of course for Lea - your love. We love you and we miss you. We are keep holding on because you left here so many good things, lots and lots of light, bright thoughs (which we feel all the time) and we believe that now, you are Guardian Angel and you are watching over us, especially Lea, cause she needs you even if she is that incredibly strong, so be near her and be proud of her cause she is amazing and we all are proud of her and of you, your fight. You always be in my mind as hero, as extremely kind person, as person who I look up to, no matter what. I wish someday I will see your handsome smile, which I know right now just like your beautiful heart and incredible talent 🙂 Your illness can't destroy my memory of you as just great, great person. I will miss you Frankenteen...forever.Take care, with love Alexa
My Cait began to experience crippling anxiety in High school. She said she was never comfortable in her own skin. If this was the cause of her addiction I am not sure. It started at senior week 2009, the experimentation with drugs. Then after having some serious relationship problems she progressed to Heroin being co codependent with her current boyfriend at the time. She was lost to her addiction and family for close to two years. Finally I was able to convince and or drag her to rehab. She completed a month there. The day after she was home she over dosed. She was taken by ambulance to York Hospital where she was largely ignored because she had regained consciousness and was just a drug addict to them. This I remember clearly, having never experienced this type of ignorance.
In about a week to 10 days she was back to the same rehab, Retreat of Lancaster. After the second month of clear headedness she wanted to be clean. The Vivitrol shot helped her a lot with the cravings she had for the drug Heroin. Later, Caitlin relapsed again and went back to rehab willingly of her choice. I fear there were other relapses, small slips that I was unaware of. Finally December of 2014 she decided to be clean from everything while still being on the vivitrol shot and attending NA. She was actively working toward recovery. She was doing great. I had my daughter back. Her family had her back.
Caitlin wanted to stop the Vivitrol shot. In NA that is known as substituting one drug for another. She was clean of all drugs for almost 5 months. She relapsed on a Thursday. I know this because she wrote in a notebook that “she relapsed to the thing she cannot seem to stay away from”. That following Sunday April 26, 2015 she passed of an accidental Heroin OD on her bed in her home, doing homework. She had five classes left to graduate York College with a BA in Psychology. She wanted to work in a rehab and help other addicts. She never got the chance. She didn’t want to be an addict and never expected that would happen the first time she tried Herion. Please don’t try Heroin the first time. Addiction can happen to anyone.
BADGES / WRISTBANDS / LANYARDS
Wearing a badge, wristband or lanyard can signify the loss of someone cherished and sends out a message that overdose death is preventable.
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
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.
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.