Overdose Awareness Day 2014

Holidays and Special Days / Holidays and Special Days : Litsa Williams

According to their event website, “International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose”.  Is it weird for me to say that this is my favorite awareness day?  Hmmm, yes, probably weird.  But if you have spent any amount of time around here you probably know that I have lost someone to an overdose and that substance abuse has touched my family and friends in more ways than I care to count.  If you knew that already, then you probably also know how strongly I feel that there is a serious lack of education and awareness in our county about the realities of substance abuse.   I won’t rehash all the details, but if you haven’t read our posts on grief and overdose deaths, you should.  Seriously.  We share all sorts of stats and research that you may not know, and talk about the unique challenges of grieving an overdose death, and in part two give a lot of tips for coping with overdose loss. You can start with the first of several great overdose posts here.

OADphotoOverdose Awareness Day allows an amazing excuse to remember those we have lost to overdose while also raising awareness about such an important cause (not that many of us need an excuse!).  We are so excited to have joined together with our fantastic local GRASP chapter to host a candlelight vigile and awareness event at the Towson Courthouse Square here in Baltimore, MD.  We hope you will come and join us and spread the word to anyone you know who has lost someone to a substance related cause.

If you aren’t here in Baltimore, fear not.  There are other events happening around the country.  If you don’t see one in your area, it isn’t too late to start your own.  We have included the current events listed on the International Overdose Awareness website, but ask that you please email us if you have any other events you would like added to the list!  If you are looking for events internationally, check out the IOAD website for more listings.

Overdose loss many not have touched you directly, but chances are it has touched someone you know.  Please share this post so we can spread the word about overdose awareness day!

Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina
Event Name: Greensboro Overdose Awareness Day
Location: Greensboro Arboretum, 401 Ashland Dr, Greensboro, NC 27403, USA
Type of Event: Candlelight vigil, naloxone distribution, graffiti board, food, music and fellowship.
Please bring pictures of anyone special you want to remember and post to our story board. There will be paint and other art supplies available. Feel free to bring poems, pictures, anything you would like to include on our remembrance storyboard.
Date and Time: 31 August, 6:30pm until dark.
Phone: 3366695543
Contact: Louise Vincent -Louise.vincent05@gmail.com

Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois
Overdose Awareness Day Event 2014
Location: YMCA Log Lodge, 200 Y Blvd.
Rockford, Il. 61107
Type of Event: Education and Memorial Event. Guest speakers- Amy Bruyn, Director of Addiction Services @ KP Counseling Ltd, Sue Fiduccia- Winnebago County Coroner, local musician- Sean Huguenin.
Memorial Tribute To Those Lost To Overdose- Rose Drop in The Rock River
* After Event- 2:30-3 pm FREE Naloxone Distribution* Naloxone is used to counter the effects of opioid overdose. Free to the public
* Please feel free to bring a photo of your loved one to add to our Memorial Table
Date and Time: Sat. Aug. 30, 2014
Contact: hopeoveraddiction@aol.com

Englewood, Florida
Suncoast Vigil for Remembrance, Action and Hope
Location: Ricaltini’s Bar & Grille
1997 Kentucky Ave
Englewood, Florida 34224
Type of Event: On August 31st we remember with love those we have lost and send hope to those still struggling. More than 100 lives are lost each day in the US to preventable accidental overdose. Around the world on this day vigils and events are held to bring awareness to this epidemic of loss. We honor the lives of those we love and say ‪#‎NotOneMore. Dinner on your own 7pm, Vigil and balloon release at 8pm – The Suncoast Harm Reduction Project
Date and Time: 8/31/2014 Dinner on your own at 7pm, vigil 8pm.
Phone: 941 882 3116
Contact: Julia Negron julia@negron.com

Baltimore, Maryland  (where we’ll be!)


Baltimore, Maryland
Overdose Awareness Day in Baltimore County
Location: Baltimore County, Towson Court House Square, 401 Bosley Avenue, Towson Maryland 21204 (outside by the fountains)
Type of Event: Candlelight vigil with acoustical music and reading of names
Phone: 443-554-6150
Contact: Toni Torsch dctfoundationinc@gmail.com

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Gloucester, Massachusetts
4th Annual Gloucester Overdose Vigil
Location: The Flag Pole at the Cut Bridge, Stacy Boulevard, Gloucester Ma.
Type of Event: Join us for a night of healing to remember those we have lost to overdose and help shed light on this ongoing tragedy. Program includes luminaries, speakers, reading of the names, music, lighting of candles, moment of silence and memorial table. All are welcome.
Date and Time: Thurs. September 4th 7-9pm. Rain date Sept. 12th
Phone: 781-258-8948
Contact: Kathy Day Katday4@gmail.com

Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Overdose Prevention Project
Type of Event: Overdose Prevention Education and Naloxone Distribution.
Location: Harm Reduction Center, 3701 E. 4th Plain, Vancouver, Wa 98661
Date and Time: Mondays and Wednesdays 3-6 PM, Fridays 3-5 PM
Phone: (360)397-8086
Contact: Sandi Kendrick Sandra.Kendrick@Clark.Wa.Gov

Kingston, Pennsylvania

Kingston, Pennsylvania
International Overdose Awareness Day
Location: Kirby Park (Pavilion 1)
Type of Event: A day of remembrance with speakers, music, information tables, and balloon release
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Phone: 570 991 7199
Contact: Carol Coolbaugh/ N.E.P.A. chapter of GRASP coolbaugh324@verizon.net

Collinsville, Illinois

Collinsville, Illinois
Collinsville Community Awareness Event, August 28
Location: Navigation Church, 1205 Vandalia, Collinsville, Illinois 62234
Type of Event: The Collinsville Police Department is pleased to announce a community awareness event featuring presentations by Bethany Place. The primary purpose is to provide training to members of our community which will allow them to access the potentially lifesaving drug Narcan through Bethany Place. This public meeting is also an opportunity for members of our community to receive updated local statistics of heroin use, treatment opportunities, and local HIV/AIDS statistics/prevention measures. Family members, friends, business owners, neighbors and anyone who is concerned for the life of an injection drug user is welcome to attend and take advantage of the training.
Time: 7:00 p.m. August 28
Phone: 618 345 4249
Contact: Tim Stark tim.stark@navchurch.org

Flower Mound, Texas

Flower Mound, Texas
Overdose Day Event: “Not Me”
Location: Flower Mound High School Auditorium
3411 Peters Colony Road, Flower Mound, TX
Type of Event: WTF is hosting a Premier Showing of their new short documentary “NOT ME”, bringing awareness to drugs in our communities
Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Phone: 972-467-7704
Contact: Kathy B. O’Keefe kathy@WTF-WinningTheFight.org

Lubbock, Texas

Lubbock, Texas
Overdose Prevention Awareness Event
Location: Miller Park, Lubbock, Texas
Type of Event: Open to the public-Family event
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Phone: 806-241-2902
Contact: Teresa Alvarado talvarado@starcarelubbock.org

Bronx, New York

Bronx, New York
St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction International Overdose Prevention Awareness Day
Location: St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction, 886 Westchester Avenue GFL, Bronx, New York 10459
Type of Event: A Day of Prevention & Remembrance
Time: All Day: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM Overdose Prevention and Response Training – Breakfast; 11:00 AM to 12::00 Overdose Awareness Art Competition; 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Candle Light Vigil – Honor our Ancestors; 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM – Lunch
3:00 PM to 4:30 PM – Honor our Heroes and Sheroes
Phone: 718-585-5544

Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky
The Fayette County Heroin Task Force Overdose Day Memorial Event
Location: Jacobson Park, Lexington
Type of Event: To honor those we have lost and provide solidarity for families, friends, and colleagues of those we have lost. This event will begin at 2 pm with a brief presentation and a ceremonial planting of a tree in honor of lives lost to heroin. Afterwards, free kites will be given out to all those in attendance for kite flying and recreation. The flying of the kites is a symbolic gesture of us finding a way to help others rise above and fly over their addictions.
Please invite as many people as you can. This is a family-friendly invite and guests of all ages are welcome. Even if you have not been affected directly or indirectly by heroin, please come and show your support for those who have. This is about hope
Time: 2pm-3:30pm, August 23
Contact: Sharon Tankersley at 859-225-3296 ext. 658 or setankersl@bluegrass.org

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
Texas Overdose Awareness Day vigil
Location: Texas State Capital South Steps Austin Texas 78758
Type of Event: Information dissemination both verbal and written, readings of names and moment of silence for loved ones who have passed. Music
Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Contact: Mark Kinzly markkinzly@yahoo.com

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland IODA Day Memorial
Location: The memorial tree at Outside In
1132 SW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
Type of Event: Please join us in remembering those who we have lost to overdose and to commit ourselves to preventing overdose death. We will have candles, but please feel free to bring memorial items like pictures of loved ones or flowers.
September 3
Time: 6pm
Phone: 503-535-3826
Contact: Haven Wheelock Havenw@outsidein.org

Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina
Overdose Awareness Candlelight Vigil
Location: 401 Ashland Dr, Greensboro, NC 27403
Type of Event: We will have a Story Board where people can post pictures, graffiti, write, draw, and create anything they would like to remember lost loved ones. We will have music, light refreshments, naloxone, Harm reduction information, supplies and most important love and acceptance.
We will light candles and take a moment in one of Greensboro’s most beautiful parks to never forget the untimely and unnecessary deaths of our loved ones. Come out and help spread the word that overdose is 100% preventable. Make sure if you know someone that uses opiates You have Naloxone.
Time: 6:30pm until dark, August 31
Phone: 336-669-5543
Contact: Louise Vincent ncsyringeaccess@gmail.com

Port Jefferson, New York

Port Jefferson, New York
Location: Memorial Park at Port Jefferson Harbor,
Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Type of Event: A day to remember those we have lost to drug overdose, those who struggle, those who are in recovery, educate and erase the stigma of who an addict is. Guest speakers, a candle lighting, live acoustic music and a whole lot of unity to spread the message about addiction on Long Island!
Together we can be the change we wish to see for our children and loved ones
Time: 4pm
Phone: 631-946-0807

South Bronx, New York

South Bronx, New York
Event Name: BOOM!Health Training the Community
Location: Look for the BOOM!Health which will be located at East 150th Street and Morris Avenue on International Overdose Awareness Day.
Type of Event: We will train community members on Opioid Overdose Reversals right in their community. Our team of overdose trainers will provide training to residents in the community that want to become part of growing number of trained responders in The South Bronx.
Time: 11:00am and 12:30pm
Phone: 917 232 8582
Contact: Ed Manchess emanchess@boomhealth.org

New York City, New York

New York, New York
Event Name: NYC Overdose Awareness Day
Location: NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 42-09 28th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101 Room 3-52
Type of Event: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is hosting the 1st Annual NYC Overdose Awareness Day on September 9th, 2014 in commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day.
The event will include an overdose prevention training in which attendees can receive naloxone—a medication that reverses the effects of overdose and can save someone’s life. The event will also include a panel of individuals whose lives have been touched by opioid overdose and a presentation on the work that the NYC DOHMH is currently doing to challenge the opioid crisis in New York City.
In addition, Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs will host a “Day of Training” at sites throughout New York City on Tuesday, September 9th.
Time: 1– 5pm
Phone: 347-396-7909
Contact: Amu Ptah Riojas aptahriojas@health.nyc.org

Clementon, New Jersey

Clementon, New Jersey
Clementon Awareness Day
Location: Heroes Park
Garfield Ave.
Clementon, NJ 08021
Type of Event: Ceremonial and educational , speaking and songs
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Phone: 609-605-4608
Contact: Jonathan Fisher j.fisher@clementon-nj.com

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada
Event Name: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery
Location: East Las Vegas Community Center
250 N. Eastern Ave.
Las Vegas, NV
Type of Event: Panel of speakers and resource fair
Time: 10am-2pm.
Phone: 702-743-7384
Contact: Dell Schilleci delltpn1@gmail.com

Waterville, Maine

Waterville, Maine
First Annual Overdose Awareness Day
Location: Railroad Square Cinema
17 Railroad Square
Waterville, Maine 04901
Type of Event: Screening of 23 minutes documentary “The Opiate Effect” followed by discussion with Henry “Skip” Gates. We will also be creating a mobile memorial with make-your-own magnets to honor loved ones lost to overdose.
Time: 10am – 12 noon
Phone: 1-207-626-1279
Contact: Kelsey Cler kelsey.cler@mainegeneral.org

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
I AM HERE Outreach Team Presents the First Annual Overdose Awareness Day Rally and Vigil
Location: Monument Square
Congress Street
Portland, Maine.
Type of Event: A community of active users and their allies coming together to give recognition to those who have died from an opiate overdose. There will also be educational outreach with specific emphasis on Narcan availability in Maine. We will walk through downtown Portland, raising awareness to this important issue and end with a memorial and time of silence.
Time: 2-4pm
Phone: (207) 756-8024
Contact: Zoe Odlin-Platz zop@portlandmaine.gov

Davenport, Iowa

Davenport, Iowa
First Annual Quad Cities Overdose Awareness Walk
Location: LaFayette Park
700 W 4th St, Davenport, IA
Type of Event: Bring your family and friends and walk with us from LaFayette Park, Davenport, IA to Schwiebert Park, Rock Island, IL to bring awareness to the national epidemic of drug overdoses in the Quad Cities, throughout Iowa and Illinois, and the rest of the country.
LaFayette Park, Davenport, IA
Expert speakers, balloon release, Memorial Wall (bring a photo of your loved one to pin on the wall) and supporter networking.
Website: https://odawalk.com
Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/1483065088579745/
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Time: 10am
Phone: 202-560-6551
Contact: Rene Dickerson <rdickerson1963@gmail.com>

DeKalb, Illinois

DeKalb, Illinois
DeKalb County Community Drug Overdose Awareness & Prayer Vigil
Location: DeKalb County Courthouse
133 W State Street
Sycamore, Illinois 60178
Type of Event: Speaker & Prayer Vigil
Time: 7:00pm
Phone: 815-761-1487
Contact: Brenda Jergens brenda.jergens@gmail.com

Carpentersville, Illinois

Carpentersville, Illinois
Overdose Awareness Day “You are not alone gathering”
Location: Carpenter Park-by the stage
Type of event: We will be gathering together to remember lives lost too soon from overdose, while also providing hope, resource information for grief, treatment and support.
We will offer naloxone training to anyone who wants to be trained and speaking of overdose prevention and the 911 Good Samaritan law.
There will be on display the actual Proclamation from Governor Quinn of Illinois recognizing August 31st as Overdose Awareness Day in Illinois,A Memorial quilt with 100 names of loved ones lost from overdose.We will be launching balloons.
Please bring your lawn chair and join us by the stage.
“You are not alone” Sponsored by: JA2SOON
“Don’t Roll the Dice with Your Life”
Time: 10:30am- 12:30pm
Phone: 847.428.4497
Contact: Terri ja2soon@outlook.com

Peru, Illinois

Peru, Illinois
Overdose Awareness & Memory Walk 2014
Location: Baker Lake
30th Street
Peru Il 61354
Type of Event: A walk in memory of those lost, loved and still struggling with addictive illness.
Speakers, resource table, balloon release to remember our loved ones lost.
Time: 10am-12pm
Phone: 815-993-8314
Contact: Lori Brown overdosememorywalk@yahoo.com

Elk Grove, Illinois

Elk Grove, Illinois
“Overdose Ends Now”
Location: Busse Woods South Groves 5-16 Elk Grove Village Il
Type of Event: Evening of Remembrance, hope and action
Special Musical Guest Man the Mighty
Naloxone training
Food Truck
Resource expo
Free To attend
Time: 5:00 to 8:00pm
Contact: <tfranco@medline.com>

Shorewood, Illinois

Shorewood, Illinois
Event Name: Overdose Memorial Vigil
Location: Village of Shorewood Park and Recreation
1 Towne Center Blvd
Shorewood, IL 60404
Date: Sunday August 31st, 2014
Type of Event: Memorial vigil to support those who have lost loved ones to a substance passing and to help bring awareness to our communites. We will have special guest speakers to discuss Overdose Awareness in our counties. We will be selling T-shirts for $20, please send an email if you would like to order for more information. This is a free event open to the public.
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Contact: Elaine Rivas ermoverdoseawarenes@gmail.com

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana Overdose Awareness Day
Location: Juan Solomon Park
6100 Grandview Drive
Indianapolis, IN
In Shelter
Type of Event: Picnic at 6:00 p.m.
Awareness Discussion with speakers immediately followed by remembrance and candle light vigil.
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Phone: 317-828-6883
Contact: Justin Phillips <jphillips44@att.net>

Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
Denver Overdose Awareness Day
Location: NW Corner of Colfax and Broadway in downtown Denver, CO.
Type of Event: To raise a ruckus and stop the silence of overdose in our community. We will gather to hold signs and pass out overdose information at this very busy downtown Denver corner.
Time: 2:30-4:00pm
Phone: 303-572-7800
Contact: Lisa Raville <Lisa.harm.reduction@gmail.com>

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco Overdose Awareness Day Memorial March
Location: San Francisco
Type of Event: March through San Francisco, with a gathering at the end to share stories, remember and celebrate the lives of those who we have lost to overdose.
Time: 2pm
Phone: 510-444-6969 ext 16
Contact: Eliza Wheeler <wheeler@harmreduction.org>

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indiana Overdose Awareness Day
Location: To Be Determined in Indianapolis, IN
Type of Event: Candlelight Vigil and remembrance
Phone: 317-828-6883

Newark, Delaware

International Overdose Awareness Day Candle Light Vigil
Location: The corner of Rt. 896 and Main Street in Newark, Delaware near the University of Delaware Campus
Type of Event: Candle Light Vigil honoring those we have lost to the disease of addiction and to educate those who have family members or friends who are currently using regarding our Good Samaritan 911 Law (2013) and our just passed Naloxone Law.
Balloon send-off after vigil.
Time: 8:00 – 11:00 pm
Phone: 302-598-6296
Contact: Liz Perkins GRASP@martyperkins.com

Let’s be grief friends.

We post a new article to What’s Your Grief about once a week. Subscribe to stay up to date on all our posts.

Related Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

See More

3 Comments on "Overdose Awareness Day 2014"

Click here to leave a Comment
  1. Julia Keegan  August 21, 2015 at 12:24 am Reply

    Port Angeles Community Action Network (PA CAN)
    Addressing Addiction.
    Connecting Community.
    Spreading Hope.
    Please join PA CAN on August 31 @ 7:30pm at Civic Field (Race and 4th Street Port Angeles Washington) for an Overdose Awareness walk.
    This is PA CAN’s first public event to raise awareness in our community about the impact of addiction on people and their families. This walk is so important in order to begin this very important discussion. Hope to see you there. ??

  2. https://deathiswhat.com/  August 26, 2014 at 4:32 am Reply

    I lost a friend to an overdose in high school and the ‘what ifs’ go on and on and make it hard to grieve well, thank you for all the info you share!

  3. Kimberly Ryan  August 21, 2014 at 10:14 am Reply

    Is there a Canadian Chapter? My son died 5 years ago as a result of issues with addictions, and I want to know more about what I can do to bring this awareness into Canada. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. Required fields are marked *