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International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 is a stark reminder of the harm that drugs inflict on our society. It is a day to remember those who have fallen victims to overdose as well as those who have come out of the dark hole victorious with the help of loved ones. International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31st focuses on reducing the number of deaths caused by overdose and erasing the stigma associated with it.

Besides death, drug overdoses also cause permanent injuries. Both of these scenarios devastate family members and friends of those who have suffered an overdose. This observance seeks to help people cope with the pain and grief overdoses cause. Another important message on this day is to discuss how overdoses are entirely preventable.

International Overdose Awareness Day also aims to reduce the stigma attached to the issue, most of which is faced by the families of the victims. The first International Overdose Awareness Day was commemorated 21 years ago. It was started by Sally J. Finn who was in St. Kilda, Melbourne at The Salvation Army.

The Opioid Epidemic is in recent years plaguing America, with tens of thousands of death each year caused primarily froim fentanyl which is a type of opioid. Spanning five decades, over a million fall victim to drug overdose in America.


  • While the U.S. only makes up 5% of the world’s population, about 75% of all prescription drugs in the world are consumed by Americans.

  • Teens are more likely to die due to prescription drug ingestion than by cocaine or heroin.

According to the World Drug Report (UNODC, 2021), about 275 million people used drugs at least once in the previous year. Death related to drug use disorders (mainly due to overdose) has increased by 45% over the last decade.



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