International Overdose Awareness Day Partner Toolkit

August 31: International Overdose Awareness Day. End Overdose

August 31 marks International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) each year. It’s a day to remember those we’ve lost to overdose, acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind, and renew our commitment to end overdose and related harms. Share the social media posts below to help spark conversations about the rise in drug overdoses and highlight ways reduce disparities among ethnic and racial groups and promote health equity.

Hashtags: #IOAD22 #EndOverdose

Partner With Us

Join us as an IOAD partner by using your voice and platforms to spread the messages of ending overdose. This partner toolkit provides free resources, including key IOAD messages, social media content, and patient and provider educational materials, to spread the word about ending overdose. In addition to this toolkit, a campaign resources overview provides a list of materials available for download and print.

You can inform others of what can be done to end overdose by sharing these IOAD resources with your friends, family, and colleagues. Examples of how to get involved include:

  • Posting IOAD messages and using the hashtag #IOAD2022 and #EndOverdose on social media.
  • Sharing IOAD digital content, web features, and materials online.
  • Using the sample articles to share IOAD information with communities and healthcare providers in newsletters, emails, and other partner communications.
  • Downloading free educational materials and participating in interactive trainings for patients and healthcare providers.
  • Educating communities at risk and healthcare providers at meetings, health fairs, conferences, and other events.

Key Messages

International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. The campaign spreads the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death and that drug overdose is preventable.

The goals of International Overdose Awareness Day are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones.
  • To send a strong message to people who use drugs and people in recovery that they are valued.
  • To inform people around the world about the risk of drug overdose.
  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that are available.
  • To prevent and reduce drug-related harm by supporting evidence-based practice.

For General Audiences and Media

This August, CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is marking IOAD with the release of two new articles, showing the latest trends on drug overdose in the United States.

  1. A new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) analyzes emergency medical services (EMS) data and highlights trends in nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses. This report identifies disparities in overdose rates by patient and county characteristics, and provides strategies on what can be done to decrease overdose.
  2. An up-to-date CDC’s State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) COVID-19 data brief describes overarching COVID-19-related themes that may have contributed to increased overdose deaths during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the identified themes, this brief gives examples of prevention approaches that can be used in future public health emergencies to help reduce overdose deaths.

Help us share those two new publications via your channels when they are released on August 25.

How to recognize an overdose

Recognizing an overdose can be difficult. If you aren’t sure, it is best to treat the situation like an overdose—you could save a life. Call 911 immediately. Administer naloxone, if it’s available. Do not leave the person alone. Signs of an overdose may include:

  • Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils”
  • Falling asleep or loss of consciousness
  • Slow, weak, or no breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Cold and/or clammy skin
  • Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)

Lifesaving naloxone

Naloxone can reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, and prescription opioid medications. Often given as a nasal spray, naloxone is safe and easy to use.

You should carry naloxone if

  • You or someone you know is at increased risk for opioid overdose, especially those with opioid use disorder (OUD).
  • You or someone you know are taking high-dose opioid medications prescribed by a doctor.
  • You or someone you know have both opioid and benzodiazepines prescriptions or use illicit substances like heroin or fentanyl.

Remember: You can’t use naloxone on yourself. Let others know you have it in case you experience an opioid overdose.

For Healthcare Providers

CDC’s naloxone resources for healthcare professionals are designed to provide an overview of naloxone, a critical component of the public health response to the opioid overdose epidemic, and provide strategies that can be implemented in your practice.

Studies show that naloxone may not always be offered when risk factors are present, such as taking higher doses of opioids, prescriptions for benzodiazepines in addition to opioids, or history of overdose. CDC created new tools to support clinicians in their efforts to increase offering to co-prescribe naloxone to patients at increased risk for overdose.


Clinician’s roles

As a healthcare professional, you can reduce risks of overdose deaths by

  • Educating patients and their caregivers on factors that increase the risk for overdose.
  • Raising awareness about the benefits and availability of naloxone.
  • Encouraging patients who are at risk and their caregivers to carry naloxone.
  • Explaining how and when to administer naloxone.
  • Highlighting the importance of follow-up care for overdose.


What is available?

CDC created a suite of naloxone materials and tools to support your efforts to co-prescribe naloxone when indicated. These tools can help clinicians inform patients, families, and/or caregivers about the value of naloxone in a non-stigmatizing manner.

  • Factsheets
    Include basic information on naloxone for a variety of audiences ranging from patients to clinicians and healthcare executives.
  • Conversation Starters
    Start talking about the role naloxone can have in saving lives. Despite the known benefits of naloxone, discussing it can be a sensitive topic due to the subject of overdose and the stigma associated with its use. 
  • Full Naloxone Training
    • Mini modules
      • Assessment: Do You Know the Risk Factors for an Opioid Overdose?
      • Engaging Patients in a Conversation
      • Reducing Stigma Surrounding Naloxone
    • Interactive patient cases
      • Practice strategies for effectively engaging patients and their family, friends, and caregivers in a conversation about naloxone and helping eliminate the stigma associated with its use.
Sample Social Media Content

Use our suggested Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn copy to spread the word. Schedule content to remind your networks about the International Overdose Awareness Day.

Use #IOAD2022 and #EndOverdose to join the conversation and tag us at @CDCInjury on Twitter! Additional graphics are available in campaign resources.

For General Audiences

Twitter Posts

Provisional estimates indicate that over 80,000 overdose deaths involving #opioids occurred in the United States in 2021. In honor of this International Overdose Awareness Day, learn how to protect yourself and others from drug overdose.  Visit @CDCInjury to learn more: http://go.usa.gov/xh29J

#EndOverdose #IOAD2022

August 31st marks International Overdose Awareness Day #IOAD2022. Have you heard about naloxone? Visit @CDCInjury to learn more about naloxone, a lifesaving medication that can reverse an opioid overdose: http://go.usa.gov/xh2XD

#EndOverdose #IOAD2022.

Facebook Posts

Efforts to save lives from drug overdose are continually evolving. Join CDC in remembering those we’ve lost and help reduce stigma. #EndOverdose on International Overdose Awareness Day.  Learn more: http://go.usa.gov/xh2XP #IOAD2022

Instagram Post

Efforts to save lives from drug overdose are continually evolving. In 2021, it is estimated that over 107,000 people lost their lives to drug overdose in the United States. Join @CDCgov in remembering without stigma those we’ve lost and help #EndOverdose. Tap the link in our bio to learn more. #IOAD2022

http://go.usa.gov/xh2Xp

For Healthcare Providers

Twitter Posts

In 2018, only 1 #naloxone prescription was dispensed for every 70 high-dose #opioid prescriptions. Offering to co-prescribe naloxone when indicated can help save lives. @CDCInjury’s new resources can help #clinicians educate their patients on its benefits: http://go.usa.gov/xh2Xs

#IOAD2022 #EndOverdose

Clinicians, you can reduce #opioid overdose by offering #naloxone to your patients who are at increased risk of overdose. Take @CDCInjury’s NEW training to learn how you can apply strategies to increase naloxone prescribing when indicated: http://go.usa.gov/xh2XF

#IOAD2022 #EndOverdose

Facebook Posts

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered in time. By increasing naloxone access and awareness in our communities, we can help save lives. Check out CDC’s new resources to help promote naloxone dispensing in your community: http://go.usa.gov/xh25g

As a clinician, you can play a key role in reducing opioid overdoses by offering naloxone to patients who are at an increased risk of overdose. Take CDC’s new training to learn how you can recognize signs of opioid use disorder in patients and increase naloxone prescribing: http://go.usa.gov/xh25T

Instagram Post

Clinicians: Did you know that only one naloxone prescription was dispensed for every 70 high-dose opioid prescriptions in 2018? #Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an #opioid overdose when administered in time. Download and share @CDCgov’s new tools to help promote naloxone dispensing in the community. Tap the link in our bio to learn more. #EndOverdose #IOAD2022

http://go.usa.gov/xh25W

LinkedIn Posts

As a clinician, you can reduce the risk of opioid overdose deaths by offering naloxone to patients who are at an increased risk. Check out CDC’s new resources to help you educate patients, families, and caregivers on the benefits of naloxone: http://go.usa.gov/xh25B

CDC’s Injury Center has launched a NEW self-paced, interactive training module to support clinicians with strategies on how to talk to patients and caregivers about naloxone. Take the training and earn free CE credits: http://go.usa.gov/xh25k

As a clinician, it’s important to choose words that are nonjudgmental and empathetic when discussing naloxone. Practice your communication techniques with CDC’s new patient case exercises. Learn more: http://go.usa.gov/xh25X

Sample Article Content

Include our sample content in email or print newsletters or other communications channels, including updates to staff, provider networks, associations, and community-based communications efforts.

For General Audiences

Subject Line: CDC Marks International Overdose Awareness Day with New Research on Opioid Overdose and COVID-19 related factors
Title: Time to remember. Time to act.

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), held each year on August 31st, is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose. This is a day for us to remember those who have died from drug overdose and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. We encourage you to use the occasion of IOAD to raise awareness and help spread the hope of recovery and ending overdose. Visit CDC’s website for the latest: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html.

This year, CDC’s Division of Overdose Prevention in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is marking IOAD with three releases:

  • A new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) analyzes emergency medical services (EMS) data and highlights trends in nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses. This report identifies disparities in overdose rates by patient and county characteristics, and provides strategies on what can be done to decrease overdose.
  • An up-to-date CDC’s State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) COVID-19 data brief describes overarching COVID-19-related themes that may have contributed to increased overdose deaths during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the identified themes, this brief gives examples of prevention approaches that can be used in future public health emergencies to help reduce overdose deaths.
  • CDC’s IOAD feature can help you learn more about nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses and what can be done about the rising opioid-involved overdoses.

This International Overdose Awareness Day, you can make an impact by sharing CDC’s overdose prevention work and resources with colleagues, partners, and loved ones. We invite you to join us in taking action to end overdose. Help us spread this message on social media with the sample Tweets that have been created for your use.

For Healthcare Providers

Every  August 31stInternational Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) serves as a reminder of the overdose crisis. This global health observance has provided a marked occasion to raise awareness, remember those we’ve lost to overdose, share overdose prevention strategies, and reduce the stigma of drug-involved deaths.

This year, CDC released a new suite of trainings and resources to promote the importance of prescribing naloxone. The resources promote greater dispensing of naloxone, a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered in time and provide strategies to communicate about naloxone in a non-stigmatizing manner.

As clinicians, you can educate and counsel patients and their family, friends, or caregivers about the benefits of naloxone and its use. Despite the known benefits of naloxone, discussing it can be a sensitive topic due to the subject of overdose and the stigma associated with its use. These tools, created to support you in your efforts to increase offering to co-prescribe naloxone when indicated, serve as a critical component of the public health response to the opioid overdose epidemic.

The suite of materials include:

  • Factsheets
    Include basic information on naloxone for a variety of audiences ranging from patients to clinicians and healthcare executives.
  • Conversation starters
    Start talking about the role naloxone can have in saving lives. Despite the known benefits of naloxone, discussing it can be a sensitive topic due to the subject of overdose and the stigma associated with its use. 
  • Full Naloxone Training
    Learn and practice strategies for effectively engaging patients and their family, friends, and caregivers in a conversation about naloxone and helping eliminate the stigma associated with its use. You can select shorter trainings if you prefer not to take the full module, including mini modules and interactive patient cases.

This International Overdose Awareness Day, join us and use your voice and platforms to spread messages on ending overdose. You can make an impact by sharing our overdose prevention work and resources with colleagues, partners, and loved ones. Take our training modules and review patient cases that best meet your needs to focus on a specific topic or skill to improve and earn continuing education (CE).

Access the latest guideline, data, and resources