Community Hospice Observes Global Event

September 1, 2020


For Immediate Release

Contacts: Kristin Mostowski | Director of Public Relations, Community Hospice | | 209.578.6301

International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

Modesto, CA (August 31, 2020) – International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year. The recognition of this day aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day works to spread the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. According to the National Safety Council, in 2017 there were more than 72,000 preventable drug overdoses in the United States with more than 47,000 involving opioids.

Families often worry that their loved one will be remembered for their addiction or their overdose rather than being remembered for the thousands of other amazing things about their loved ones. It is important for survivors to explore ways to honor and memorialize their lost loved ones to normalize their grief. Options may include:

  • Hold a candlelight vigil
  • Encourage your workplace to participate in International Overdose Awareness Day observance activities
  • Provide a safe space for telling the stories of overdose victims
  • Offer an educational program, such as one related to preventing opioid use, in partnership with a local organization
  • Offer a large canvas and washable paint so survivors can add a handprint in memory of their loved one
  • Display empty hats or shoes to represent the number of lives lost in the community
  • Research state and federal legislation that addresses opioid overdose prevention, and write to your representative
  • Purchase or create purple wristbands, pins, shirts, etc. and wear them on August 31st

Find additional resources at

In Stanislaus County there are many resources to assist those suffering from Substance Use Disorders through Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. One may also contact their physician to learn about local programs and resources.

If you are a survivor of an opioid overdose related death, there is help for you. Community Hospice has been providing grief support to community members for decades and now has a special program, Mourning Opioid Overdose Deaths (MOOD). This program supports family and friends of loved ones who have lost their lives due to an opioid related overdose. Providers are specially trained to provide respectful education and support for complicated grief. For more information about MOOD, visit or call 209.578.6300.

Together we can promote and support a healthier, stronger community.

About Community Hospice

Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice’s mission is to embrace individuals and families facing life-changing journeys, enhancing quality of life for all. Care extends to over 2,000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and at the sixteen-bed Community Hospice Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides bereavement and grief support to anyone in the community. For more information please call 209.578.6300 or visit

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