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International Overdose Awareness Day

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.


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