COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered U.S. and Ohio flags to be flown at half-staff.

Flags will be lowered on Ohio’s public buildings and grounds at the statehouse, the Vern Riffe Center and the Rhodes Tower in honor of Ohio Overdose Awareness Day on Thursday. The national and state flags will remain at half-staff at all other public buildings and grounds throughout the state until sunset.

“Overdose Awareness Day is a day when we can come together as a community, remembering those who have lost their lives due to overdose and celebrating those who are in long-term recovery from substance use disorders,” said DeWine in a release. “Overdose Awareness Day is ultimately about hope.”

Established in 2021 by Senate Bill 30, Ohio Overdose Awareness Day aims to remember the lives lost to the ongoing national opioid epidemic and ushers in September as Recovery Month.

To help local communities promote Overdose Awareness Day, leaders from DeWine’s RecoveryOhio initiative, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) have created an Ohio Overdose Awareness Day Toolkit

“Every overdose death is a tragedy, and some of these deaths could be preventable if more people carried naloxone,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA.