International Overdose Awareness Day is held on August 31st each year.

Commemorating those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose, it also acknowledges the grief felt by their families and friends.

Celebrated around the world, International Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of drug overdose and eradicate the stigma attached to drug use. It also spreads the message that overdose is a preventable tragedy.

International Overdose Awareness Day hopes to diminish the shame and guilt associated with drug use. That includes all drugs, licit and illicit (and alcohol, too). Taking its themes as prevention and remembrance, its goals are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn for loved ones, some for the first time, without feeling guilt or shame.
  • To include the greatest number of people in Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement.
  • To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose.
  • To send a strong message to current and former drug users that they are valued.
  • To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that exists in the local community.
  • To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
  • To remind all of the risks of overdose.

For more information, please visit the International Overdose Awareness Day website.

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