What is International Overdose Awareness Day?
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 due to a drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.
What Are the Aims of International Overdose Awareness Day?
- To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones in a safe environment, some for the first time without feeling guilt or shame.
- To include the participation of the highest number of people in International 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 people who use drugs that they are valued.
- To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.
- To provide basic information on the range of available support services.
- To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based policy and practice.
- To inform people around the world about the risk of overdose.
What is an Overdose?
An overdose means taking a quantity of a drug, or combination of drugs, that your body canot cope with. There are a number of signs and symptoms that show someone has overdosed, and these differ with the type of drug used. All drugs can cause an overdose, including prescription medication prescribed by a doctor. It is important to know the right amount and the right time to take your medication. It is also vital to know what drugs should not be mixed, and to seek help if you feel you are not in control of your drug use.
What are the signs of an overdose?
To learn about the signs of prescription drug abuse overdose and overdose response measures, please visit NCAPDA’s Education section on their website.
Show Your Support
Anyone can raise awareness by spreading information about overdose. Overdose is highly stigmatized, and that’s part of the problem.
The stigma surrounding drug use and overdose prevents many individuals from seeking help when they suspect an overdose. Countless deaths may be prevented by destroying this stigma, so people feel safe talking about their struggles and looking for help.
You can get involved by participating in:
- Educational events
- Candlelight vigils for overdose victims
- Walks to honor lost loved ones
- Naloxone (Narcan) training
- Overdose awareness t-shirts
- Sharing social media posts
- Distributing overdose fact sheets
- Commemorating someone by adding your tribute here
You can also wear and display symbols of overdose awareness. These symbols include silver badges, purple wristbands, and purple lanyards. Wearing these symbols demonstrates support for those who have suffered from an overdose and their loved ones. Moreover, it brings attention to the issues and has the potential to spark a conversation. They are also a reminder that every life is valuable.