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. It can also be hard for people who don’t understand to find sympathy for those families. 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 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 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 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.

How to celebrate Overdose Awareness Day

One of the ways to celebrate this day is by wearing silver and purple. You can buy a badge from organizations such as the Overdose Day website or coordinate your outfit for that purpose. If you have a dress code for work, you can convince your higher up to organize a day where coworkers wear these colors. Light a candle in remembrance, host an education program about overdosing, provide safe spaces for people to tell their stories, and be active if you’re passionate about this subject. Nevertheless, share this holiday on your favorite social media websites using the hashtag #overdoseawarenessday and let everyone know what day it is.

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