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.
Overdose 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 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. IF YOU HAVE LOST ANYONE DUE TO DRUG OVERDOSE PLEASE COME REMEMBER THEM ON THIS SPECIAL DAY!!!! CALL 336-669-5543 IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS Date and Time: 31 August, 6:30pm until dark. Phone: 3366695543 Contact: Louise Vincent [email protected]
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: [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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:http://odawalk.com Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/1483065088579745/ Saturday, August 30, 2014 Time: 10am Phone: 202-560-6551 Contact: Rene Dickerson <[email protected]>
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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 [email protected]
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: <[email protected]>
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 [email protected]
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 <[email protected]>
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 <[email protected]>
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 <[email protected]>
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 [email protected]
Please leave a comment to let us know if you are planning an event we have missed, so we can add you to the list. If you are anywhere near Baltimore, we hope to see you on August 31st! Subscribe, so all our posts and events come straight to your inbox. No spam, just great grief info.