International Overdose Awareness Day - August 31
Sat, Aug 31, 2024

International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a very important day celebrated on August 31st to raise awareness of the negative effects of drug use. It is marked to remember those who have died from overdoses, and to support their families.


The idea to celebrate International Overdose Awareness Day was first proposed in 2001 by Peter Strecker and Sally Jay Finn, both members of the Salvation Army in Melbourne. Since 2012, it has been coordinated by the Penington Institute, a non-profit organization in Australia dedicated to raising awareness of the negative effects of drug use. Now, this event is celebrated all over the world.

What is an Overdose? An overdose of drugs or psychoactive substances is a condition that threatens health and life. It is usually caused by accidental or intentional abuse of medications and/or psychoactive substances (such as drugs and alcohol), the use of these substances in excess of a dose prescribed by a doctor or a regularly used dose. Overdose in most cases has serious health consequences, including disorientation in space and time, convulsions, depression of respiratory and cardiac activity, coma, and death.

Interesting facts

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 following signs:

  • Unhealthy dilated or constricted pupils of the eyes, their lack of response to changes in lighting.
  • Causeless excitement or, on the contrary, a depressed and drowsy state.
  • Unusual skin temperature – too hot and dry, or cool, covered with clammy cold sweat.
  • Disorientation in space and time.
  • Breathing difficulties, heart rhythm disturbances, blood pressure instability.
  • Vomiting or urge to it.

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

How to take part

There are many ways to take part in International Overdose Awareness Day. You can warn people on social media about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, organize a meeting of people who care about this problem, or participate in an event in your city. You can also donate to institutions that provide support to those affected by drug overdoses.

When is International Overdose Awareness Day celebrated in 2024?

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


Weekday Month Day Year
Saturday August 31 2024
Sunday August 31 2025
Monday August 31 2026