International Overdose Awareness Day: A time to remember, a time to act


August 31, 2017

Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) and our 220 members from across Ontario join organizations, individuals and communities across the world to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day.End Overdose

International Overdose Awareness Day is an annual event that aims to spread awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of overdose related deaths. It is a time to acknowledge the grief of those who have sustained injury and lost loved ones to overdose, remember those we have lost, and to help increase knowledge and capacity to prevent future overdoses and deaths.

In 2016, it estimated that we lost 865 Ontarians to opioid related overdose – deaths that the Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins, has stated were needless, tragic and preventable. In response to the opioid crisis, Ontario is investing $222 million over three years to support those impacted by opioid overdose and addiction.

Overdose can happen to anyone, but the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that show someone has overdosed, and these differ with the type of drug used. All drugs can cause an overdose, including prescription medication prescribed by a doctor. It is important to know your correct dosage, what drugs definitely should not be mixed, and know to seek help if you feel you are not in control of your drug use.

Where to get a free naloxone kit

As part of Ontario’s strategy to prevent opioid addiction and overdose, pharmacies, community organizations and corrections facilities across the province offer free naloxone kits, as well as training on how to use them. Click here to look-up where to find a naloxone kit.

Recognizing and and responding to overdoses

International Overdose Awareness Day has put together fact sheets that provide an overview of the type of drug, the signs of an overdose, and how to respond. Click on the posters below for more information and to download:

Crystal Methamphetamine Fact sheet

New Psychoactive Substances Fact Sheet

Recognising & Responding Alcohol Overdose

Opioids Fact Sheet

Depressants Fact Sheet

Stimulants Fact Sheets

Looking for help?

​Are you interested in seeing what services, supports and treatment options are available to you?

Ontario has free, 24/7 helplines that can provide information and point you in the right direction. Call the numbers below or click for more information: