Each year, August 31 marks International Overdose Awareness Day. On this day, we remember and grieve those we’ve lost and strengthen our resolve to end overdose injuries and deaths. International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died from overdose, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.
Overdose touches people and communities in many ways. The theme for 2023 is “Recognizing those people who go unseen,” we honor the people whose lives have been altered by overdose. They are the family and friends grieving the loss of a loved one; workers in healthcare and support services extending strength and compassion; or spontaneous first responders who selflessly assume the role of a lifesaver. We would like to say to these people: We see you. Theirs are the voices we should amplify, and their strength and experience should be held up as examples to us all. Too often, however, they are left to bear the burden of this crisis alone and in silence.
This year on August 31, let’s acknowledge and support the people in our communities who go unrecognized by raising awareness of the hidden impacts of overdose, promoting education on overdose response, and reaching out to elected officials to make lasting, lifesaving policy changes.
This national day of remembrance, recognition, and strength leads into National Recovery Month. National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), which started in 1989, is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible. With the proper support, #recovery is possible for every individual facing challenges. This #RecoveryMonth, find healthcare professionals, programs, or support groups at: samhsa.gov/find-support/health-care-or-support.