International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on Aug. 31 each year to remember those gone too soon from overdose deaths.
Any movement at all that reduces disease, that reduces overdoses, that reduces property crime, that reduces violent crime, is good. – Gary Johnson
With the increasing drug problem in countries all over the world, in many cases, tragedies happen. For those who suffer from the consequences of overdose, it can be hard for families to cope with the after-effects of what happened. Overdose Awareness Day is all about bridging the gap between those who don’t understand and those who know it all too well.
History of Overdose Awareness Day
Overdose Awareness Day was initiated in 2001 when Sally J. Finn suggested the idea while she was in the Salvation Army in Melbourne, Australia to her friend Peter Streker, a co-worker who was part of the Community and Health Development Program in Melbourne. According to Finn, this holiday acknowledges that, “drugs and the consequence of overdose are part of all our lives, and that there are repercussions from the death and injury of people which are felt across every socio-economic and cultural span of the world.” Since 2001, they have worked together to create this holiday, and today, governments and organizations remember this holiday as a day to recognize a severe problem that needs to be solved.
Overdose Awareness Day acknowledges the grief that families feel when they lose someone to overdose and the struggles that a family member suffers from after their incident. This holiday sends a few messages out to the public. Because an overdose is a complicated and personal topic for many, this holiday aims to break down the fear and prejudice that is created by the stigmas of drug overdosing in society. Instead of bringing hate, it seeks to bring compassion and understanding to the families involved, and that suffer the consequences of overdosing.