August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day was initiated in 2001 by Sally J Finn at The Salvation Army in St Kilda, Melbourne.

Since 2001, many community members as well as government and non-government organisations have held events to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose.  Since 2012, International Overdose Awareness Day has been coordinated by the not-for-profit Australian public health organisation Penington Institute.

International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity to remember loved ones lost to overdose. Our message is simple – the tragedy of overdose death is preventable and more must be done to save lives. Overdose Day draws worldwide attention to the need to prevent and create awareness about drug overdose.  Together, communities, families, people who use drugs, government officials, international organisations, businesses and policy makers come together in a shared effort to reduce the tragedy of overdose.

The goals of Overdose Day are:

  • to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death
  • to acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Please join the Council in recognizing the people who have lost their lives to addiction and to help bring awareness to those who can help.

For more information about International Overdose Day and to post a tribute to someone, visit