International Overdose Awareness Day is an awareness event that is annually held on August 31. Its purpose is to commemorate lost loved ones, educate global communities about overdosing on drugs, and ultimately reduce the stigma associated with overdose-related deaths. In 2001, the first Overdose Awareness Day was organized by Sally J. Finn and took place at The Salvation Army in St. Kilda, Melbourne. Since 2001, this awareness campaign has gained incredible momentum and has positively impacted many lives.
Across the nation, American communities are holding candlelight vigils and providing safe spaces for families to share their stories of overdose victims. If you’re interested in hosting or attending an event, you can review the Activities 2018 page on the International Overdose Awareness Day website. This website also provides downloadable resources and campaign materials to help you spread awareness in your hometown. The National Safety Council is also providing Prescription Drug Community Action Kits to any party interested in hosting a community event.
Even if you can’t attend an event, you can still support the cause by:
Donating to the International Overdose Awareness Day website
Purchasing official badges and wristbands
Wearing purple clothing
Participating in the National Safety Council’s virtual candlelight vigil on Facebook
Accessing the National Safety Council’s Facebook page to get a purple profile image
Currently, there are two official events being held in Arizona:
The Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition is having their IOAD Chinese Lantern Sendoff Event in Thatcher at 6:00 pm.
The 4th Annual International Overdose Awareness Day in Phoenix is being held at Aurora Behavioral Health. This event begins at 5:30 pm.
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