International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is an annual event held on August 31 to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. The day is observed in more than 30 countries around the world.

IOAD was founded in 2001 by a group of bereaved families in Melbourne Australia and was created to commemorate the lives of those affected by drug overdose and to raise public awareness about the issue.

The goal of drug overdose awareness day is to bring attention to overdose, how it can be prevented, and to raise awareness of the importance of getting help for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

Drug overdose awareness day is an important day to remember those who have been lost, as well as supporting those who are currently struggling with addiction. It is an opportunity to bring people together, to remember those who have passed away, and to provide support and resources for those experiencing difficulties with poor mental health and addiction.

Reducing the risk of overdose

Overdose is a serious health issue that can lead to permanent disability or even death. It is important to understand the risks associated with drug or alcohol use and to take steps to reduce the chances of an overdose. Below are some strategies that can help reduce the risk of overdose.

  1. Understand the risk of using drugs or alcohol: Research reliable sources to help you become more informed and familiar with the effects of the substances.
  2. Reach out for help if you are experience difficulty with alcohol or drug addiction: It is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Professionals help can provide valuable information and resources to help reduce the risk of an overdose.
  3. Have a plan: Knowing the signs of an overdose and having access to emergency medical services can help reduce the risk of long-term damage.
  4. Avoid using alone: Using drugs with other people can help reduce the risk of an overdose. Having other people around can help identify signs of an overdose early and intervene if needed.

If you or someone you know is using drugs, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional.


Events are held around the world on IOAD, including candlelight vigils, marches, and educational workshops.

How you can support the campaign

There are a number of ways that individuals can support the campaign for Drug Overdose Awareness Day. One of the most effective ways is to shine a light on the issue by sharing the facts and resources available. Sharing stories of those who have been affected by overdose, and of those who have been helped, can help to raise awareness and encourage individuals to seek help if needed.

Additionally, people can get involved in their local community by attending events or volunteering with organisations that support the campaign. These organisations may host events, provide resources, or offer support services to those who are struggling with addiction.

Finally, individuals can support the campaign by advocating for policy changes that could reduce the risk of overdose. This could include advocating for increased access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, or for increased funding for treatment and recovery services.

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Are you concerned about alcohol or drug addiction for yourself, a loved one or someone you care for? For a free and confidential discussion with an expert treatment advisor please call 0330 175 7031 today or visit for further information.