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International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year, which aims towards raising awareness of overdose and breaking down the stigma associated with drug-related deaths. Families and friends who have lost a loved one or suffered a lasting disability as a result of drug overdose are also acknowledged. The campaign promotes awareness about overdose, one of the world's most serious public health issues, and encourages action and conversation around evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy.

The goals of International Overdose Awareness Day are:

  • To educate community members about fatal and non-fatal overdoses.

  • To create a safe atmosphere for individuals to openly mourn loved ones, perhaps for the first time, without feeling guilty or ashamed.

  • To offer basic information about the range of available support services.

  • To educate individuals worldwide about the dangers of overdosing.

  • To engage the broadest possible audience in International Overdose Awareness Day events and to promote non-denominational participation.

  • To avoid and mitigate the harm caused by drugs by promoting evidence-based policy and practice.

  • To deliver a strong message to current and former drug users about their worth.

  • To spark debate on overdose prevention and drug policy.

You can help by participating online or at a community-wide event. Several ideas include:

  • Educating yourself about drug overdose.

  • Posting a tribute in remembrance of a loved one.

  • Sharing helpful overdose information on social media.

  • Hosting your own event with loved ones to raise awareness.

  • Attending an event in your area.

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