August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or suffered an injury as a result of a drug overdose.
Overdoses are preventable, and there are steps we can take to stay safer. If you want to help end stigma and save lives, there are things you can do right now.
- Get involved. There are events and activities available across Canada, as well as online options. Visit the International Overdose Awareness Day website to find something near you. Or maybe you have an idea for an event of your own—register here to help others find you.
- Get the word out. There are lots of resources available to support learning and awareness, from posters and fact sheets to graphics for social media. Download and share from the IOAD website.
- Show your support. Use #EndOverdose and #OverdoseAware to share personal stories and add your voice to the conversation on social media. Talking about overdose could save a life. Check out International Overdose Awareness Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on the latest news and activities.
- Take time to remember. The overdose crisis has touched all our communities. Light a candle, post a tribute or create an artwork in honour of someone who has lost their life or suffered injury due to overdose.
- Learn how to help. Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. Get a naloxone kit to carry with you and learn how to use it with Toward the Heart.
- Have the conversation. Take this opportunity to talk about substance use and overdose awareness with your friends, family and loved ones. Get your friends together for a cup of tea or go for a walk with a family member.
Whether you know someone who uses substances or not, connecting and talking with others can raise awareness and reduce the stigma that prevents people from seeking help. Get informed, get involved, and make space to talk about the toxic drug crisis. Take action today!
Search for substance use resources near you on HelpStartsHere