Overdose Awareness Day 2021

Participants from The Men’s Room joined a nationwide project in July with nine regional recovery arts organisations in seven UK cities to create a short film which will be broadcast via social media on 31st August, Overdose Awareness Day. Over 50 individuals in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol came together to create the film which remembers those that have been lost to overdose. 

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event each year that raises awareness of overdose and helps reduce the stigma of drug-related death. It acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends by remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury because of drug overdose. It also aims to spread the message that overdose death is preventable. 

Each year around 5000 people die due to drug overdose in the UK, often leaving loved ones with more questions than answers. Started in 2018 in Brighton and lead by participatory theatre company Small Performance Adventures, ‘Overdose Awareness Day Live’ has grown to include more locations each year. Demonstrating the scale and desire to mark the day around the UK. 

Originally conceived as a series of pop-up performances across the country, the project has had to adapt over the last 18 months due to the impact of the coronavirus. Overcoming this adversity, and ensuring that Covid guidance is adhered to, the organisations participating in ‘Overdose Awareness Day Live’ have created a powerful and moving film that is sure to reach the hearts of anyone tuning in on 31st August 2021.

‘Overdose is something which has affected many of the people we work with, either directly or indirectly. It was really moving to see our participants getting involved so fully.’ Shelley Wagon, Head of Creative Provision, The Men’s Room 

‘I enjoyed working with the group – a friend of mine had overdosed and I couldn’t save them. At first it felt too painful…but then it was good to talk about it and be able to do the performance to express how I felt. Thank you for letting me be involved!’ Stephen, Participant