MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed August 31 as Minnesota Overdose Awareness Day.

International Overdose Awareness Day is held each year on the final day of August and calls attention to the problems of drug abuse and overdose. It also allows families to honor loved ones who’ve lost their lives to this growing epidemic.

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Remembrance ceremonies and community awareness events are being held across the world, including at the Minneapolis Federal Building.

A rally is planned at the U.S. Courthouse will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Monday.

Also, for the fifth year in a row, Twin Cities’ organization Valhalla Place will host a candlelight vigil. From 7 to 9 p.m. at All God’s Children Church, people are invited to come and remember those who were lost to addiction.

Overdose Awareness Day is a reminder to support prevention projects and that overdoses impact the entire community.

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The theme for 2015 is Rethink and Remember.

The Penington Institute reports an estimated 183,000 drug-related deaths globally in 2012; most prescription painkillers.

Drug overdose was responsible for about 41,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2011. And in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, 144 people died of opiate-related causes in 2014, according to Valhalla Place.

This day is a time to recommit to overdose prevention efforts.

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