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The silver badge and the purple wristband are symbols of awareness of overdose and its effects. Wearing these can signify the loss of someone cherished; or demonstrate support to those undergoing grief. It sends out a message that every person’s life is valuable and that stigmatising people who use drugs needs to stop.

Host or Attend an Activity

Hosting your own International Overdose Awareness Day event or activity, or attending one, is a powerful way to stand together to remember people who have lost their lives to overdose.

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Time to Remember, Time to Act

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August 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.

Do you recognise the signs and symptoms of overdose? What is the impact of drug use and overdose on family, friends and those experiencing it?

These videos include people affected by the impact of drugs use and overdose who share some of their stories.

“There wasn’t any white light. I didn’t make out Jesus or see my dead family members. It was just oblivion and it was very frightening.”

Remember

  • Sean,
    You were an amazing person who fought a horrible demon that ended up taking your life and continues to haunt the streets of the world. Your two boys and I miss you everyday and everyday there isn't a moment we don't think of you and wish you were here. You were an amazing person who didn't deserve this.
    You will always have my heart and I will never forget who you truly were.

    Love you, Sam

    Carson City NV
    Samantha Perry
  • This is in tribute and memory of my son Patrick David Holley 2-14-1981 to 2-13-2010. My handsome, funny, loving compassionate and sensitive son was taken from us the day before his 29th birthday. Patrick would light up a room when he walked into it. He was a smart ass with a great sense of humor who was the only one who could make me laugh at myself. He was my life, the love of my life. He had a very giving and compassionate heart. He literally gave people his last dime and even his meal. He judged no one and accepted them for who they were. So sad that people hear he passed from a drug overdose and immediately attach that stigma to it. They never bother to find out what a kind, loving person he was to all who knew and loved him. I love you Patrick and this is for you my Sonshine. Always loved, always missed and forever in our hearts!
    Lynne Holley
  • To Piri: The folk who seem happy And those who seem bright With smiles on their faces And feet that are light Art not always those That have lived in the sun But those who faced darkness Fought it and won Miss you around - miss your light feet and smile.
    Anon
  • My struggle only began 3 years ago with a injury at work many surgeries later I'm completely addicted to prescription pain meds many failed attempts to get clean and to many close calls to an overdose I reached a point I felt my life was over I'm a true believer in methadone maintenance it saved my life but not before it almost took my niece's life she got a heavy dose of heroin and fentyl thank the LORD she made her way into a populated store before falling out and CPR was administer by a customer but she was on a ventilator and placed in a medically induced coma for weeks we were not sure what her future was to look like eventually she woke up but she will never be the same she needs round the clock care and is basically a toddler again my niece is only 29 with her whole life ahead of her she has been battling her addiction since she was a teenager it almost took her from us and I see how it has taken its toll on our family and I do not want to put them threw it also I don't want to die or become a vegetable if you are addicted please STOP I know it's hard get help get help now before it's to late you are worth it you deserve to be clean and sober Catasauqua
    Becky
  • To my sweet daughter, Elizabeth. Thank you for being part of my life for 23 beautiful years. Through all the joys, pains and struggles we always had a special bond. Rest in peace my sweet girl free from all your demons. I will miss your beautiful voice, bright smile and infectious laugh. May you sing with the angels and rest in Jesus' loving arms. All my love, Mommy. xoxo

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Cathy Delsardo
  • My dearest daughter Jennifer died of a meth overdose on 5/5/13 and I have no happiness without you.  I love you
    Claudia
  •   My younger brother passed away on April 8 2015 due to accidental overdose. He was 25 when he passed and has left a void that can't be filled. We miss him with every ounce of our hearts and souls. A loving son, brother, grandson, cousin, uncle and friend. You are always on our minds forever in our hearts. Our Peter Pan, we love you to the moon and back xo we need to raise more awareness
    Jenn
  • Rest in peace Neil Ross 14/05/1978-28/03/2016.  Forever in our hearts .  I will miss you forever.  You fought so hard and we will miss your beautiful smile.  You had the biggest heart and had time for everyone.  The saddest thing is your beautiful boy Jayden wont grow up knowing you but your family will make sure he knows how much you loved him.  You have never left my mind since that day.
    Siobhan
  • It's almost 11 years since my son Philip died.  He was an awesome father and son.  We miss him each and every day!
    Kathy
  • 3/18/96 - 7/1/18 Mariah Danielle , My youngest and only daughter. I am so sorry you had to suffer from this horrible addiction. I just knew you were going to make it after you had to have open heart surgery. our family will never be the same without you. You were a wonderful aunt to your niece Raelynn. I tell her all the time that you don't hurt no more and that you are in the sky with the angels. We love and miss you so very much! Everywhere I look something reminds me of you. I miss your beautiful smile the smell of your hair ,your calls, your text you walking through the door. You were only 22. You will be forever in our hearts We love you, Mom, Dad your brothers Dean,Brandon,Nathan and your niece Raelynn.
    Posted 08/08/2018
    Carnell
  • My beloved son, Robert Dower, died on February 4, 2012, in Weaverville, NC, from a fatal combination of cocaine and methadone. He was only 22 years old and had struggled with the disease of addiction for the last 4 years of his life. He was loved by all who knew him and most of all by his family. I wish that he could have beat the horrible disease that took his life, I knew he tried. I hope and pray that by raising awareness of this disease, that we can take steps to increase understanding and support for those who struggle every day to live.
    Barbara
  • For Sonia Nicole or "Nikki" the best friend I ever had my whole life, some one I wanted to know until old age. Gifted artist, brilliant mind and loving spirit. May you fly free from all your worries and troubles now and forever. Ended her battle with Heroin 2 days after her 30th birthday on June 30th. May no one suffer as you have suffered, I miss you and wish I could have prevented everything.
    Adrianne
  • Lost my beautiful wife September 13, 2016.
    Miss you every single day my sweetheart.

    Kelowna
    Shawn
  • To my funny, loving, handsome baby brother, You just could not fight the demons any longer. I miss you and love you so much. You have no idea how hard it is for all of us that you left behind. I hope you have the peace that you were so desperately looking for....you took a piece of my heart that day when I heard you were gone. (June 17, 2016)
    Nicole
  • Remembering my son, a brother, a great grandson, a grandson, a friend whom passed away August 27th 2009, at 19, due to a methodone OD. Always remembered and never forgotten.
    Kim
  • It will be 10 years Jay. The journey was long but your window on earth too small. It is my dream to honor you and those you touched here, more than we ever knew at the time. May your grace and kindness be with those whose struggle now.
    Jill
  • RiIP Brandon "Freddie" Sutherland, who passed too soon of a herion overdose on June 5, 2014 on the streets of Baltimore, leaving behind a beautiful daughter who was 6 at the time.
    Rachel
  • My son, Travis, died of an overdose on July 28, 2015.  He was only 23.  He had been sober 3 months at the time of his death.  I know that he fought so hard, and he was a beautiful soul trapped in the hell of addiction.  I miss him every day and so wish I could tell him how much I love him and that I know he tried.  Rest in peace sweet boy!
    Rhonda
  • Jan 3rd 2015. My heart will never be the same. Miss you to the moon and back Kelly boy. Love you more. Forever your momma. Forever my son. 19 yrs young. Mom
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  • Rip chris.. Chester
    Laur A V
  • Everytime u c me post this I've had to add someone to the list .. I wrote this song in dedication to all those we have lost to heroin/addiction overdose .. And to the families and loved ones may this bring you comfort...   R.I.P Donna Castrucci (mom) R.I.P Laura Mullen (girlfriend) R.I.P Christine Hessel (cousin) R.I.P Mark Mercurio (friend) R.I.P Erik Justice (friend) R.I.P Shane Cullen (friend) R.I.P Lauren Fredrick (friend) R.I.P Brian Lang (friend) R.I.P Scott Woods (friend) R.I.P Jason Thomas (friend) R.I.P Shannon Bessey  (friend) R.I.P Amanda Maxwell (friend) R.I.P Scott Little (friend) R.I.P Kristen King (friend) R.I.P Scot Philbert (friend) R.I.P Kevin Doan (friend) R.I.P Justin Price (friend) R.I.P Mark Marksberry (friend) R.I.P Stephen Diehl (friend) R.I.P Danny Caudill (friend) R.I.P Brandon Alcorn (friend) R.I.P Timmy Conners (friend) R.I.P Rick Weaver (friend) R.I.P Dustin Pittard (friend) R.I.P Ericka Griffin (friend) R.I.P Cyndie Mattingly (friend) R.I.P Luther Combs (friend) R.I.P Nychol Jefferies (friend) R.I.P Clint Smith (friend) R.I.P Lamonte Hubbard (friend) R.I.P Lora Woodward (friend) R.I.P Cory Boehm (friend) R.I.P Nelson Gonzalez (friend) R.I.P Erica Workman (friend) R.I.P Tyler McCabe (friend) R.I.P Carrie Schille (friend) R.I.P Brandy Mae Lunsford (friend) R.I.P Kaitlynn Marshall (friend) R.I.P Dave Mack (friend) R.I.P Leah Biggs (friend) R.I.P Craig Harrison (friend) R.I.P Andy Clemmons (friend) R.I.P Jimmy Hoyt (friend) R.I.P Kyla Williams (friend) R.I.P Seth Saylor (friend) R.I.P Stephanie Osterman (friend)   Check out "Tears in HEAVEN" by The Cincinnati KID http://www.reverbnation.com/open_graph/song/20178745   Waist Clubwear Dress V Cromoncent Neck Womens Shiny High Sleeveless Sequins Purple XHSBPSn7   Feel free to SHARE Download it for FREE
    Brandon
  • This is very hard to even except still in my brain .My son died of a overdose on Oct  12 2015 25 years old  .He struggled with his disease for 5 years .I found him 6 times did cpr  and brought him back with my husbands help on 2 of them also  with the help of EMTS and police .I always heard him fall on the floor  in our house  or a big bang  so I would run to his room .In and out of rehabs for 5 years .He finally was clean for a year and 6 mouths.We were so proud of him I thought our life would slowly get back to normal. We didn't know what was normal anymore. When he ran into a old friend that he grew up with as a child.This so called FRIEND  offed my son his demon of choice which was heroin. I found him on October 12 2015  on him bed dead from his 7th overdose.I didn't here him hit the floor this time .I threw him on the floor and began CPR nothing was working  then I called 911 and that was it he was gone they tried for so long to bring him back my beautiful son. He had a heart of gold he was a thoughtful child everyone loved my Russell He was a functioning addict.He never stole a thing from anyone .He always worked and had money to pay for thing on his own .He just didn't want to better himself I think he thought he couldn't.This is what the drugs do.Now for another part to add.My beautiful daughter Bonnie had a pain pill addiction .For years on and off from 3 accidents. Pain management Doctors get your children addicted .  But my husband and I never even new she was hiding it so much from us .We know she wasn't handling her brothers death good at all .She had a Beautiful baby boy Conor he is the joy of our life born  on Sept 18 2015 He was born drug free .We had no idea she was taking all theses pill for back pain  .Her brother Russell only had a life with his nephew for 3 weeks .Well I found my daughter Bonnie  who lived with her baby and her boyfriend in their apartment dead of a overdose which she said she would never do heroin because it killed her brother  on March 8th  2016  she was 29 .My sons death and my daughters. I will never ever get over this. They were the love of my life my children new this it didn't matter because of their addiction .Please parents don't think your kids are telling you everything.If you suspect something go with your instincts .  My daughters death is still under investigation.We feel someone came and left her like this .  I needed to tell my stories  for others .Watch your children be aware .If I can save anyone else life .For my loving memories of my Bonnie and Russell my soul is so lost without you two.My heart will never mend.I miss you two with all of me love Mamma girl  .
    Shirley
  • My Dearest Michael Anthony, I can not believe it’s been almost 7 months… since I’ve seen your beautiful Hazel eyes. since I’ve heard your voice joking around. since I’ve had you text me from the other room..making me laugh. since you were working with me, driving all over Long Island. since you played words with friends. since you took jynx and stax for your morning walk/run. LOL since you “talked” to Jynx and stax the way you do..and I never learned how..LOL you know they miss you like hell. since we had long talks and I am trying to take after your calm way of thinking. LOL 7 months of heartache. 7 months of pain. 7 months of crying at least 1 time a day. 7 months of barely holding on. 7 months of missing you like crazy. I’m so sorry that you still had felt pain to turn to your addiction…and wish you would have turned to us instead. Rest Peacefully my beautiful boy…you are free now..free from your addictions…free from your pains..free from your restrictions. Love you forever…and ever I know you are an angel watching over us and we will see you again.
    Mom
  • On this day, I remember the patient I had who died from an overdose.  I feel grief over your death; I hope you are at peace.  May we find effective ways to bring this scourge to an end.
    Scott
  • Holding you close.
    In memory of JNZ. 4/11/94- 8/17/17

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    Ed
  • To: Donna Mitchell What a waste.
    Matt Jordan
  • To Gwen- My heart is broken that you did not get the chance to grow into the wonderful woman you were well on your way to becoming. You are forever in my heart until we meet again. My beautiful, sparkling, creative, anxious, impulsive and reckless daughter Gwendolyn Farrell died of an unintentional mixed drug/heroin overdose. Twenty-one years of age: 11/1/89 - 3/26/11.
    Chris Farrell
  • My ex brother in law, Michael died of an accidental overdose recently. He had battled drugs and alcohol for YEARS. He overdosed with two doses of the stuff that's supposed to bring you back sitting next to him. His youngest brother found him, he tried to revive him and gave him a shot. EMS also gave him a shot. He was gone. The devastation to his sons and grandchildren and those of us who loved him is immense. Anyone who knows this road, knows how it is to love an addict and worry they'll die or become a vegetable. Michael, you were a great guy with many talents. Your infectious laugh and smile, the way you listened to your loved ones, how you said the funniest things (HOLY UNDERWEAR, for one) . I wish I could have taken away the pain you had, physically as well as mentally. You are missed, you were loved and always will be loved. I truly hope you finally found peace.
    Theresa
  • My dear brother Jeff, I miss you so much, your little girl and mom and dad miss you terribly...there is a huge hole in our hearts because you are not here with us. I wish I would have been there for you but I was an idiot and thought you were invincible. Not a day goes by when I don't think of you and where you are now and what I could have done to prevent it. I love you so much my big bro. Peace.
    Heather
  • We are so lucky to have had our brilliant and beautiful daughter, Isabella, for 20 years. We love you, Bella!

    Saint Louis, Missouri, US
    Christy Sammartano
  • This tribute is in remembrance of my beautiful son Gregory who passed away on October 5th 2014 at age 23. He was the most amazing man and loved his family as much as we all loved him. He is terribly missed by both me and his dad, his three sisters and brother and many nieces and nephews who he loved so much. We will never forget you Gregory. Our lives will never be the same without you. We think of you everyday. He fought this terribly disease with all he had and with our support, but after 15 months clean it took my baby and changed our lives forever. My heart will forever be broken.  Love, your Mom
    Patty
  • My son died of a heroin overdose in June 2008. He has a son who does not know how he died and I don't know how to answer the questions he may soon ask. I don't want him to feel negative about him. Please advise how I can do so. He was the most wonderful father and I don't want to destroy his memories for him x
    karen king
  • Strap Open Art Black Women's Black Amsterdam Toe Ankle Sandals Brandy, I miss you so much. I know your life on this earth was a living hell.  12 years of fighting that addiction was a constant battle for you. I tried to do all I couLd to save you. Rehabs all over the country's, prayer, guilt love, tough love, begging love. No matter how messed up you were at times, I always loved you unconditionally. There was no mountain that I did not move for you, juSt to get you well. Just to free you from that demon. But in the end Brandy , I lost you, my sweet child. April 19,2014 was the worse day of my life. But it comforts me to know that you are no longer Addiction's Slave. Fly free baby, play your drum set, guitar and piano with the Angels. I will see you soon again. I love you to infinity and beyond. Mom
    Ani
  • To my friend Tara. May you rest in paradise! I'll always remember you and love you with all my heart!

    Normal Illinois
    Amanda
  • Adam, I have never forgot u and never will. Love to my uncle. Xx
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    Amy
  • RIP Andrea Renee Demille.  BFF
    Jasmine
  • I lost my twenty two year old son to a heroin overdose. Every day my world seems to be worse. There are no more words left in me to describe how it hurts. That rotten, killer drug
    leslie
  • Always in our hearts

    Lexington Ky
    Niven misses Angie
  • Hello Ed it's sis. I know you have been struggling with life here on earth. I know you are at peace now in heaven. Mom, Dad and I miss you so much. RIP dearest brother?
    Loving sister
  • I learned just yesterday that my close friend of 13 years, Melissa Kosmin, passed away last week. She had been battling depression and anxiety for most of her life, and was on too many meds that weren't doing much to help. Over the years I saw her both at her best/highest and her worst/lowest. Countless times I talked her out of overdosing and taking her own life. I last talked with her on Sept 16th, she was the lowest I had ever heard her. She told me "I can't live this way anymore, I just want to end it". I asked her to meet me, to talk it over, but she never did. Three days later, on Sept 19th, she passed. She always said that her preferred method would be a pill overdose. She had an ample supply herself and had access to her mother's. She told me that her mother would be getting methadone in a couple of days for her pain, I suspected that she would target that. I don't know that she did, but I read in another post on this site that she overdosed. She was the most incredible, caring, gentle, kind, compassionate person I ever met. She was beautiful but couldn't see it. Her entire existence could be shattered by a few ill chosen words, such was her low self esteem, and try as I did to "toughen her up", to roll with the punches, she never grasped how to do it. She didn't ask for much, she wanted to be free of depression. She wanted a husband and family, to have her future husband propose to her with the snow falling, to honeymoon in the Caribbean. Things I could not offer her. But now she will never experience any of these. I told her it would happen, she just needed to get herself out there and people would find her. But her lack of self confidence prevented her from doing that. The pain of living finally got to be too much and she ended it. She always said to me that no-one would shed a tear if she was gone, I told her she was oh so wrong. And now that has been proven, I can't stop my own tears from falling as I am sure her family cannot too. I can't bring her any more flowers, all I can do is bring them to her grave. She broke my heart, I don't know if it will ever fully mend. Goodbye my Love.
    Melissa's Friend
  • Remembering my precious daughter Santana Berry, who left us on 3/27/16 at the age of 25 as a result of an overdose  I love and miss her so much.
    Kathy
  • The day I (nearly) died was the day I decided to live again we remeber all my friends who have fallen and I FIGHT ON FOR ALL YOU WHOM I LOVED I miss you all each day but know you are in a better place the twenty minutes I died I felt true piece and the true meaning of life I was always searching to get high enough to touch God until the one day I did it was the most beautiful experience but I begged to come home to finish my journey to change things for the better addicts are people too. We struggle everyday to stay clean but its not an easy fight we love just as much as anyone and hurt and bleed the same as you or I ... and for all out there we need to stand together to make this world easier to save lives to make the politicial mindfield work for us We need Doctors to prescribe Drugs that work!!! We need more rehabs for those who are ready, we need more Doctors prescribing treatment for those who choose and we need support from our family and friends to help us get the rights to fight to live please stand behind us all we don't need to lose another Mother, Father, Child or Brother!!! My love goes out to those we have lost in this fight for Rights to be heard and not to give in to the shame ...we should not be hiding in the shadows thats how people get lost
    Hope at NUAA
  • My beautiful son, Jeremy Nathan Alterio died on April 7,2016 from a heroin/fentanyl overdose. He was 30 yrs old and about to start a new life as Jennifer. A couple of months before he died, picture of himself dressed as "Jenny" & posted it on his facebook page for all 435+ to see. I was so proud. His friends were so positive. He almost had it all.
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    Veronica
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  • Lost my daughter Erin on 8/22/2015. My heart will forever be broken. Missing her everyday. Please don't let another feel this was. This illness must stop.

    Homer, New York
    Mary'
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  • Joseph turner. 2-21-1982. 8-25-2015 Andover
    Sherri Turner
  • R.D.K. : Sunrise 7-6-1990 - Sunset 8-10-2010 ~ One Love ~
    Posted 01/09/2018
    TK
  • 2 ALL MY LOVED ONES WHO R GONE OR STILL IN ADDICTION-I MISS U-LOVE U BRADFORDSVILLE,KY,40009
    SHEILA MATTINGLY
  • To Drew- my blue eyed teddy bear. You know how much you are missed. I didn't realize how much a heart could hurt, until 26 June 07--- Forever and Always ---Mom
    Debby Wood
  • In loving memory of Brendan McDonald 9/6/1985-8/10/2013.
    Nancy
  • My son's brother, Tyler, passed away on Oct 2, 2016 from a heroin overdose. We will never be able to fill the hole in our hearts. You are missed so much every day and we'll never be the same without you. We never thought we'd have to say goodbye to you so soon. We will forever carry you in our hearts, the countless memories...it'll never get easier for any of us no matter how hard we try to push forward. We just hope that you are at peace not having to battle this monster anymore. All our love #forever24

    Toms River, NJ
    Kimberly

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