International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st 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 met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. IOAD spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Read on to find out how you and your SSDP chapter can get involved with the 2016 International Overdose Awareness Day.
The first International Overdose Awareness Day was organized in 2001 by two harm reduction advocates in Melbourne, Australia. They organized a local event and give silver ribbons out for anyone who wished to commemorate a friend, partner or family member who had passed away. Any member of the community, even if not directly affected, could wear a ribbon to offer their condolences to those who had suffered an overdose.
Since then, hundreds of other NGOs and human rights organizations have become involved in International Overdose Awareness Day. Though every participant approaches the day in their own way, the campaign is centered around the following goals:
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 nonfatal 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.
Last year, SSDP participated by sharing stories of students who have been personally affected by overdose. This year, we are hoping to do even more.
Ways to Participate
Hold an Event
In addition to checking out the following resources, be sure to reach out to your SSDP outreach coordinator if you plan on organizing an event.
Wear a Silver Badge
Wearing the silver badge communicates your support of International Overdose Awareness Day. Purchase your silver badge and show your support. You can buy a badge here.
Help build momentum for the day by joining the conversation on social media. Share and retweet content from the official IOAD social media accounts, or post your own content via your personal or your chapter’s social media pages.
- IOAD Twitter Account (@overdoseday)
- IOAD Facebook Page
- Use the hashtag #OverdoseAware2016
- Host a Twitter chat
Post a Tribute
Remembering those who have died – or been injured – because of overdose is an important part of the day. Add tributes to the IOAD website here.
Host a training on how to prevent overdose. It could be based on drug education, harm reduction, Narcan, or any combination of the three. Talk to your SSDP outreach coordinator to see what local resources may be available for your training.
- Facts & Stats about overdose
- Overdose Basics
- Overdose Awareness App (iPhone only)
- Downloadable Resources
- Includes posters, banners, fact sheets, guides, etc.
- Regional Links