Plan for International Overdose Awareness Day

The Office of Behavioral Health is assisting community partners in planning for International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held annually on Aug. 31 that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. 

We've created a toolkit for Lift The Label, OBH's public awareness campaign that strives to remove damaging labels and stigmas that prevent those with opioid addiction from seeking effective treatment. The toolkit is designed to help communities, county partners and organizations statewide spread the word about Lift The Label around Overdose Awareness Day.

In addition, our Opioid Memorial Wall will be at events in Golden and Denver, and an OBH staffer is speaking in Fort Collins. All events known to us are listed below. Please email with the details of your event and how OBH can help support it.


11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 29
100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden
Hosted by Jefferson County Public Health

11– 11:30 a.m.Rob Valuck, Director of the CO Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
11:30 a.m.– 12 p.m.: Vendors – Resources will be available
12–1:30 p.m.:  Community Speakers (time for Q&A will be provided)   

  • Vanessa Laing, Local Speaker in Recovery
  • Jessica Triplett, Office of Behavioral Health - Prevention Programming
  • Catherine Hoich, Jefferson Center – Treatment Programming
  • Nichole Meyers, ARTS, Adult Outpatient – Treatment Programming
  • Butch Lewis, David Sober Living Homes - Sober Living/Recovery
  • Lemuel Lee, Local Speaker in Recovery
  • Dr. Gerald Tripp, Medical Director, St. Anthony’s Hospital Emergency Department

1:30 – 2 p.m.: Vendors – Resources will be available

2–3 p.m.: Chris Hammond, Public Health Nurse, will facilitate an overdose response and prevention training, including Naloxone Administration

The Office of Behavioral Health's opioid memorial wall will be at the event and available on site the day before, Aug. 28, as well. 

11 a.m. to noon, Friday, Aug. 31
Arapahoe County Centerpoint Plaza County Building, 14980 E. Alameda Dr., Aurora, 80012. Outside entrance.
Hosted by Tri-County Overdose Prevention Partnership (TCOPP)

WHO: Arapahoe County Board of County Commissioners: Jeff Baker, Kathleen Conti and Bill Holen; Adams County Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio; Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas; speakers from Affected Friends and Family and Young People in Recovery; resources from AllHealth Network, Aurora Mental Health Center and Signal Behavioral Health.

AllHealth Network and Aurora Mental Health Center will be providing Narcan training for interested attendees and free Narcan kits will be provided by these partners, as well as Signal Behavioral Health. Narcan, or Naloxone, can reverse and opioid overdose if administered in time and is available at pharmacies without a prescription. Staff also will be available to answer mental health and substance use questions, and connect people to community resources.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31
667 Bannock St.
Hosted by Denver Health Medical Center
An interactive memorial for those who have lost someone to substance use and one educational booth will be just outside of Pavilion G, where the main Denver Health Webb Pharmacy is located. Educational booths will also be in front of the cafeteria and just inside the main entrance to Pavilion A (main hospital) as well.

1 to 3 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31
231 E Colfax Ave.
Hosted by Harm Reduction Action Center
The Harm Reduction Action Center will be recognizing Overdose Awareness Day with an action-packed event. We will meet at HRAC (231 E. Colfax Ave) at 1 p.m. sharp to assemble and then march around the Capitol armed with supplies to provide a visual impact of those we lost, and continue to lose, to overdoses in our community. Folks should bring their own signs. Folks are welcome to bring a 5x7 picture of their loved one that passed away due to overdose and we will add them to our overdose memorial wall in our agency. This year we will be proudly showcasing our mobile-supervised consumption booth. We hope to educate the community on how this public health initiative can prevent overdose deaths in Denver. Staff will be conducting Narcan trainings.

10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31
Denver Central Library, 10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.
Hosted by Denver Department of Public Health and Environment

The Office of Behavioral Health's opioid memorial wall will be at the event. Resources will be available throughout the event, and a speaking portion will begin at 10:45 a.m.

2 to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31
Civic Center Park, Old Town Fort Collins
Hosted by Health District of Northern Larimer County
The event will include overdose prevention trainings and Narcan/naloxone distribution, resource booths, speakers, music, food trucks, art/memorial spaces and a candlelight vigil. OBH Director of Strategy, Communications and Policy Cristen Bates will speak at 3:30 p.m. Our Lift The Label campaign will have a booth at the event.

2 to 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31
Lincoln Park
Hosted by North Colorado Health Alliance 
The event will include overdose prevention trainings and Narcan/naloxone distribution, resource booths, speakers, music, food trucks, art/memorial spaces and a candlelight vigil. Speakers include: Robert Valuck, Lesley Brooks, Raymond Martinez, Cassie Herrera and Scott Kindel, who is one of the 15 individuals featured in the Office of Behavioral Health's Lift The Label campaign. Our Lift The Label campaign will have a booth at the event.

2 to 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31
Pueblo Riverwalk, 101 S. Union Ave.
Hosted by Peer Coach Academy Colorado
We will build an Ofrenda (Offering Alter) to remember those we love and lost to overdoses in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day.