International Overdose Awareness Day - 31 August.

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.

The numbers of overdose-related deaths continue to climb. In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose. This number is more than the total number of Americans who died in the Vietnam War. These drugs included both illegal drugs and prescription opioids.

In 2001, Sally J. Finn and Peter Streker established International Overdose Awareness Day. At the time, they commemorated those who lost their lives to an overdose and support those whose lives have been affected by drug abuse. The Penington Institute in Australia took over the organization of the day in 2012. Events are held in countries around the world and in most states in the U.S.

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