International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month

8/31/2021 2:00 PM - 10/1/2021 12:10 AM

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day and September is National Recovery Month.

International Overdose Awareness Day (pdf) aims to honor the lives lost to overdose and reduce the stigma associated with a substance-related passing. Through mourning and remembrance, people can celebrate the lives of their loved ones without shame. At the same time, it is an opportunity to educate people that overdose death is preventable and raise awareness about evidence-based practices like Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND).

National Recovery Month improves the understanding of mental and substance use disorders. It highlights that behavioral health is an essential component of overall health, treatment is effective, and people can, and do, recover. National Recovery Month encourages individuals to seek help, promotes treatment and recovery resources, and pays tribute to the lives of people who are in recovery.

Throughout the state of Illinois, organizations that address drug overdose and promote recovery participate in International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month. The Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) promotes recovery in Illinois, #Recovery Belongs, to push back against stigma while promoting the inclusion of recovery in communities and the continuum of healthcare services. IDHS/SUPR encourages everyone to help spread the message that drug overdose death is preventable and recovery belongs in Illinois. Individuals and organizations participating in these events can tag photos and videos of the events on social media with #RecoveryBelongs.

If you would like to promote your organization's International Overdose Awareness Day or National Recovery Month event, you can add them to the Events Calendar for the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances.



  • August 31 - September 4, 2021
    • IDHS/SUPR will light the Chicago skyline purple to raise awareness for International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month.
  • August 26, 2021
    • Will County - "Your Light Still Shines" sponsored by the New Lenox Safe Communities Coalition at Lincoln Way West High School 21701 Gougar Rd, New Lenox, IL. Narcan Training and tours of the Hidden in Plain Sight trailers will be provided.
  • August 29, 2021
    • Fulton County - UnityPoint and the Fulton County ROSC Council anti-stigma and addiction/overdose awareness. Location: Canton. Working on having the Peoria bridge lit up in purple and promotion through social media. Contact: Chrissy Smith, LCSW, Manager of Outpatient Substance Use Programs, UnityPoint Health - UnityPlace, Behavioral Health Services
  • August 31, 2021
    • Will County - "Rescue and Restoration", an evening of prayer, covering all those impacted by the opioid epidemic sponsored by the Trent Bartolomucci Foundation. In addition to remembering those who have passed away, acknowledge and pray for family members and friends left behind, first responders, policy makers, and those who come in contact with those who need compassion and assistance. Contact: Peter Palanca, MA, CADC, University Professor in Addiction Studies and Behavioral Health at Governor State University. Location: Hickory Creek Church, 10660 West Lincoln Highway, Frankfort, IL from 7:00 to 8:00 pm
    • Kankakee County - Time to Remember. Time to Act. Community members are encouraged to wear purple and share their stories in honor of loved ones who have lost their lives to overdose. Training for the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal nasal spray, Narcan, will be distributed in free kits. Light refreshments will be served. From 2-4 pm at The Salvation Army in Kankakee, 143 N. Harrison Ave. Sponsored by Partnership for Health Communities, Pledge for Life Partnership, State Representative Jackie Haas, The Salvation Army, and the Kankakee County Health Department.
    • Lake County - Northern Illinois Recovery Community Organization is holding an evening event in Waukegan. There will be overdose education and naloxone distribution as well as speakers from the Lake County Public Health Department and Hep C / HIV testing.
    • Winnebago County - Winnebago County Health Department social media messages throughout the month of August and September covering overdose awareness and recovery, encouraging individuals and employees to use the IOAD banner for their FB profiles and registering with IOAD website for activities. Development of short videos of local residents whose lives were changed due to opioid overdose of a loved one, naloxone administration, and recovery, pop up trainings taking place throughout the day in identified sites, Morgan Street Bridge will be lit purple, Possibly Nicolas Conservatory to be lit in purple. Developed a short community guide as to how businesses, families, churches, and community organizations can participate in the awareness day. Memorial event: 7:15 pm at Riverfront YMCA with a flower pedal release. Contact: Jennifer Schnepf, MPH, Health Promotion and Wellness Department Supervisor, Winnebago County Health Department, (815) 720-4274.
    • The DuPage County Health Department, DuPage Narcan Program and HOPE Taskforce will be participating in several events to recognize IOAD. Through partnerships with PATH to Recovery, Hope for Healing, Serenity House, Benedictine University and Elmhurst Library, Narcan trainings will be provided throughout the month of August. Overdose Awareness Event: Serenity House Counseling Services, 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm, 891 South Rohlwing Road, Addison. Contact: Mila P. Tsagalis  

Calendar: May 2024



No events for May