International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day: August 31, 2021

Local communities in Wisconsin and around the world are coming together on August 31 to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose.

Observed on August 31 every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use.

View the list of events posted on Wisconsin DHS Opioids: NARCAN Direct page.

By holding an event this year, the people of Wisconsin are joining themselves to a global movement for understanding, compassion, and change.

In 2019, there were a record 874 IOAD events of all kinds, held in 39 countries. Last year, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, the world united again to hold 602 events.

People and communities come together annually to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises, with COVID-19 isolation and fentanyl playing a role in additional mortalities.  Provisional data released by the CDC shows that drug overdose deaths in the U.S.  increased by nearly 31 percent between January 2020 and 2021.

A full list of the IOAD 2021 events currently planned around the world can be viewed at:

International Overdose Awareness Day is convened by Penington Institute, an Australian not-for-profit.

Related Resources

SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

Wisconsin DHS Opioid Resources