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2018 International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31)

From 1999 through 2016, more than 630,000 people died from a drug overdose in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About two-thirds of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid.   International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is an annual global event on August 31 that is designed to raise awareness of drug overdose and spread the message that drug overdose and its devastating consequences are preventable.   IOAD was also established to reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths and acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or suffered permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. 

First observed in Australia in 2001, IOAD is now commemorated in many nations around the world, with nearly 300 activities planned in the U.S. this year. To help your agency and community observe the day, we’ve compiled an annotated list of online resources focusing on drug overdose. 

International Overdose Awareness Day.  This is the official website for IOAD.  It includes an international listing of activities by nation, state, or territory; basic information, facts, and statistics about drug overdose; downloadable resources and videos; and a tributes page to commemorate persons who have died as a result of drug overdose. 

Resources from CDC

CDC has developed and compiled extensive resources about the opioid overdose epidemic. Its Opioid Overdose web pages are divided into the following sections: 

  • Opioid Basics – includes pages on recent statistics and trends in opioid overdose deaths, efforts to combat the epidemic, commonly used terms, prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl. 
  • Data – includes pages with detailed statistics and maps on opioid prescriptions, as well as overdose data for prescription opioids, heroin, synthetic opioids, and fentanyl encounters. 
  • Overdose Prevention – includes pages on improving opioid prescribing, preventing and treating opioid use disorder, reversing overdose, and CDC’s role in overdose prevention. 
  • Information for Patients – includes pages on nonopioid treatments for chronic pain, expectations for opioid therapy, preventing opioid misuse, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and a prescription opioids awareness campaign. 
  • Information for Providers – includes guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain, training resources, research and activities, and FAQs. 
  • State Information – includes information about state programs and initiatives to address opioid overdose, state prescription drug laws, and state success stories in responding to the overdose epidemic. 
  • Resource Center – includes an online pressroom, shareable graphics and videos, data resources, prescription awareness campaign, and additional resources from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 


Resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA also has extensive resources on substance use, including the following: 

Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit (also available in Spanish

TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder – Full Document (Including Executive Summary and Parts 1-5) 

Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders (also available in Spanish

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health (Full Report) and Executive Summary 

Decisions in Recovery: Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders 

Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 

Rx Pain Medications, Know the Options, Get the Facts - This series includes the following fact sheets: