International Overdose Awareness Day

The International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event that is celebrated every year to raise the awareness on the dangers of drug overdose [1].

What is International Overdose Awareness Day?

Every August 31 each year, the world commemorates the people who have died and suffered irreversible damage from drug overdose. The aim of this event is not only to inform the people about the dangers of drug overdose but also to remove the stigma of a death resulting from a drug overdose [1, 2].

International overdose awareness day

What is the history of International Overdose Awareness Day?

The celebration of the International Overdose Awareness Day started in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. A manager of the Salvation Army needle and syringe program named Sally Finn was able to observe the sorrow the families of those who perished due to an overdose. The families are not able to express their grief due to the stigma that surrounds the people who used drugs.

Because of this, she arranged an event that will allow the families to commemorate the memories of their departed loved ones. Sally Finn thought of distributing ribbons for the event. She was able to distribute 6,000 ribbons in that event and it had evolved to be the International Overdose Awareness Day that we know today [1, 2].

What is a Silver Badge?

The silver badge is given to people who want to commemorate their friend or family who died from a drug overdose. Although it was initially available in Australia, people from New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States of America have started to purchase the badges to show support for the advocacy.

Due to the unprecedented demands, the badge is often sold out but a virtual steel badge is available in social media sites such as Facebook for users who wants to show their support [1, 2].

How to show support for International Overdose Awareness Day?

Aside from wearing the silver badge, there are several ways support for International Overdose Awareness Day can be shown. Every year, the movement share messages in social media sites to raise awareness about drug overdose. These messages can be shared in order to reach a wider audience. People can also help end the stigma by showing support to people who are grieving the loss of those who died from drug overdose [1, 2, 3].

International Overdose Awareness Day should be celebrated to raise the awareness about the dangers of drug overdose. If you have more information about this, you can share it in the comment section below.


  1. International Overdose Awareness Day. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from International Overdose Awareness Day:
  2. Penington Institute. (2016). International Overdose Awareness Day. Retrieved from Anex:
  3. Partnership for Drug-free Kids. (2016, August 26). Join Us on Overdose Awareness Day, August 31. Retrieved from Partnership for Drug-free Kids:

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