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A community response to alcohol and other drug issues in the City of Yarra
International Overdose Awareness Day Online Forum – Compassion Not Judgement

International Overdose Awareness Day Online Forum – Compassion Not Judgement

August 31, 2020 | 7:30 pm 9:00 pm

Streaming Live | AUG 31st 7:30pm

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We’re inviting you to join our live stream on International Overdose Awareness Day, hearing from those who understand the issue through professional engagement, and those who understand it through direct personal experiences.

Decades of expensive prohibition and policing haven’t reduced the harms associated with drug use. Policies focused on reducing harms and understanding people’s complex needs have produced far more positive results. A compassionate approach means understanding complex problems and appropriately resourcing responses that actually work.

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Originating in Melbourne 2001, the day acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends by remembering those we have lost, or those who have sustained a permanent injury as the result of drug overdose. Our minds immediately go to illegal drugs when discussing overdose, however alcohol and prescription medication are two of our biggest killers.

In honour of loved ones lost and dearly missed, our aim is to raise awareness and reduce stigma within our communities around this significant health issue.

Guest speakers

Families and people with lived experience of the impact of drug overdose

  • MC – Jason Vandy (Aaron Short Awareness Association)
  • Prof. Margaret Hamilton AO
  • Dr. Nico Clark
  • Sam Biondo (Victorian Alcohol And Drugs Association)
  • Sione Crawford (Harm Reduction Victoria)


Pictures from our 2019 event at Richmond Town Hall

This Post Has One Comment
  1. My name is Annette Jenkins and I am the grandmother of Aaron Short.I am currently residing in New Zealand.

    This is the first time I have watched the Yarra Drug and Health Forum. The family stories I have just heard are so heart breaking but so very real. To hear the honesty and to see the grief that other families, as well as ours,suffer the very same stigmas related to addiction, was a reality shock.

    This Forum is a wonderful way to reach out to families and friends living this nightmare and help make us aware that changes must be made to our ways of dealing with addiction.

    To all those involved in activally doing all that can be done ~ this is just the beginning ~ thank you for your support and help for those of us that so desperately need it ~ but mostly thank you for trying to save the lives of our loved ones!!!

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