International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31 each year. IOAD 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 died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. Overdose Awareness Day has been a key remembrance event for those who have died from fatal drug overdoses since 2001. On August 31, thousands of people worldwide will stand beside the friends and families of fatal overdose victims to reflect on their losses. Hundreds of events are scheduled around the world on International Overdose Awareness Day to spread the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

In Maine, there are events scheduled in Portland and Bangor. The Portland event is sponsored the City of Portland’s Public Health Division and Needle Exchange Program’s outreach team. This year’s vigil will be held in Deering Oaks Park and will include speakers and education, as well as an overdose response training and narcan kits. The annual memorial wall will be featured to honored the lives lost to opioid overdose in our community. Lantern making and a walk through the park will end the event.  For more information on the Portland event visit For more on the international cause, please visit

Information about the Portland event:

Event: 5th Annual International Overdose Awareness Day Vigil

Date: August 31, 2018

Location: Deering Oaks Park, Portland, Maine

Time: 6:00 p.m.