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International Overdose Awareness Day 2021

31st August marks International Overdose Awareness Day 2021, the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.

To find out more, including how to get involved in the campaign, spread the message to help prevent overdose and to read tributes to lost loved ones visit the IOAD website:

Bereavement support

If your loved one has lost their life as a result of overdose, please use the links below find below a range of information and support that is available:

  • Adfam and Peter Cartwright have filmed a series of video support sessions available on our website. This includes a video specifically on substance-related bereavement
  • is a website co-developed by Cruse Bereavement Care and Adfam with information and guidance for anyone who has lost a loved one through drugs or alcohol. 
  • Adfam's Journeys Resource provides advice to anyone suffering from a drug or alcohol related bereavement.
  • DrugFAM provide support to families that have been bereaved as a result of a loved one’s drug/alcohol misuse, phone 0300 888 3853 or visit for more information. 
  • The Compassionate Friends has a resource for parents bereaved through drug and alcohol use. This resource discusses the days immediately after a loss, the effect on the wider family and talking to non-adult children about loss.
  • Cruse Bereavement Care offers support and advice for people who have recently lost a loved one. Call their helpline on 0808 808 1677 or find out more at
  • The Good Grief Trust have supportive information on their website including a map of bereavement support organisations.
  • If you are a practitioner that works with families who are suffering the loss of a loved one through substance use, Adfam has recently created a CPD-accredited training course to support people bereaved through a substance-related death. To find out more visit our training calendar or email

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