International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held August 31 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 as a result of drug overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. They come from all walks of life.

What can you do to make a difference?

  • Hold a candlelight vigil
  • Invite NDSC to your organization to learn more about opioid drug use, impairment, and the signs of addiction. Learn more here. 
  • Are you a supervisor? Enroll in our Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors class to know what to look for with your employees and actions you can take if someone seems unfit for duty. Register here 
  • Provide a safe space for telling the stories of overdose victims
  • Offer a large canvas and washable paint so survivors can add a handprint in memory of their loved one
  • Display empty hats or shoes to represent the number of lives lost in the community
  • Use the NSC Community Action Kit as a planning guide
  • Become a Safety Ambassador by hosting a community fundraising event
  • Access the NSC Facebook page to get a purple frame (available Aug. 20) for your Facebook profile image
  • Share the NSC Facebook Live virtual candlelight vigil on Aug. 30
  • Add the name of a loved one who died of an opioid overdose to the Celebrating Lost Loved Ones map
  • Purchase or create purple wristbands, pins, shirts or other items and wear them on Aug. 31
  • Research state and federal legislation that addresses opioid overdose prevention, and write to your representative
  • Find additional resources at