International Overdose Awareness Day
International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event, held each year on August 31st, that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death. This day also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends who have lost a loved one to a drug overdose.
International Overdose Awareness Day originated in Melbourne, Australia in 2001 as a local, commemorative event for anyone wishing to honor a loved one whom had passed away. IOAD is also an opportunity for non-affected community members to show their support and condolences. Each year in Australia there are approximately 2114.4 overdose deaths, or 5.8 per day. IOAD maintains the belief that overdose deaths are avoidable, and by spreading education across the world we can prevent these lives from being lost.
That first year 6,000 ribbons were distributed throughout Melbourne and beyond. The following year the steel badge was designed, and requests for more information and badges came from all over Australia and New Zealand. Since 2001 IOAD has continued to gain influence internationally, with government and non-government organizations in the US and UK joining in the spread of overdose awareness. The US averages 120 overdose deaths per day, or 43,982 per year. In Europe, approximately 11,880 people die each year from overdose. These are just a few of the horrifying statistics that demonstrate the severity of this international issue.
Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Approximately 187,000 overdose deaths occur across the globe each year, but these deaths can be stopped. Wear Silver to show your support. To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day, click here.