International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is Saturday, August 31st. It is an opportunity to remember those lost to overdose as well as increase awareness and reduce stigma of drug-related deaths.
On this day, we acknowledge the grief experienced by families and friends, remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of an overdose.
We also acknowledge the many staff who work tirelessly to prevent, respond to and treat overdoses.
For anyone who feels so inclined to mark this day, we encourage you to participate in a moment of silence at 11 am on Friday, August 30.
August 30 – St. Paul's Hospital, outside the main entrance on Burrard Street, 10am-2pm
Staff will be on hand to talk about the hospital's substance use services, naloxone kits and training will be provided. Refreshments will be provided, there will be purple wristbands and ribbons to mark the day, and a memorial feature will be displayed.
August 30 – Overdose Prevention Society, Vancouver, 6pm
Called the OPS Pops Up, the society will hold an art show featuring the artists who have made murals in the nearby alley.
August 31 - Vancouver Public Library — Central Branch Promenade, 11am
Moms Stop the Harm will have a booth they will share information about coping with grief and loss.
September 5 - Creekside Community Recreation Centre, 6pm
This event will be held in French, and feature speakers including VCH Nurse Educator Sébastien Payan.
August 29 - Willingdon Beach (Upper Lot), 6pm
March starts at City Hall at 6 pm ending up at Willingdon Beach where there will be naloxone training, candlelight vigil and information booths.
For information about overdoses, including signs of an overdose, how to respond, where to get a naloxone kit, and more, visit the VCH website.