International Overdose Awareness Day - August 31
Wed, Aug 31, 2022

International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a very disturbing but important day celebrated on August 31st. An overdose of drugs or psychoactive substances is a condition that threatens health and life. Experts characterize it as caused by accidental or intentional abuse of medications and or psychoactive substances (usually drugs and alcohol), the use of these substances in excess of a prescribed by a doctor or a regularly used dose.

Overdose in most cases has serious health consequences. Rarely does it get by with a slight disorientation in space and a state of unhealthy euphoria. Significantly more often, the abuser is threatened with disorders of consciousness, convulsions, depression of respiratory cardiac activity, coma and death.


The idea to celebrate International Overdose Awareness Day came in 2001 to Peter Strecker and Sally Jay Finn. Both of them were members of the Salvation Army in the city of Melbourne. They created this day in memory of those who died from overdoses and in support of their families.

Since 2012, this event has been coordinated by the Penington Institute. It is a non-profit organization in Australia dedicated to raising awareness of the negative effects of drug use. Nobody cares about the Australian origin of this day, today it is celebrated all over the world.

Interesting facts

  1. Celebrate International Overdose Awareness Day with some helpful information. You may be able to save someone’s life if you recognize an overdose by the signs:
  2. Unhealthy dilated or constricted pupils of the eyes, their lack of response to changes in lighting.
  3. Causeless excitement or, on the contrary, a depressed and drowsy state.
  4. Unusual skin temperature – too hot and dry, or cool, covered with clammy cold sweat.
  5. Disorientation in space and time.
  6. Breathing difficulties, heart rhythm disturbances, blood pressure instability.
  7. Convulsions.
  8. Vomiting or urge to it.

This state is extremely dangerous! Seeing a person with such symptoms, immediately call an ambulance!

How to celebrate

Warn people on social media about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

When is International Overdose Awareness Day celebrated in 2022?

International Overdose Awareness Day is observed on August 31 each year.


Weekday Month Day Year
Wednesday August 31 2022
Thursday August 31 2023
Saturday August 31 2024
Sunday August 31 2025
Monday August 31 2026

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