Westfield plans candlelight vigil Thursday for International Overdose Awareness Day

Drug Overdoses Now Leading Cause of Preventable Deaths in US

Candlelight vigil focuses on overdose awareness

All municipal police departments now have naloxone, a medication that can often reverse an overdose caused by opioids such as prescription painkillers or heroin. "While it provides the medical community and others with more tools to combat the opioid crisis, more solutions are still needed".

During the remembrance ceremony, dozens of individuals - old and young - took the stage to say the name of a loved one who had passed away from drug addiction.

"Day after his birthday, we all went out for dinner, we had a great weekend together, he went out Sunday got high, and he died", she said. It is a chronic disease. "It's a disease that can be treated but it is a disease that has to be acknowledged and treatment sought".

"We as a community are responsible for doing everything that we can in regard to prevention and treatment", Grolling added. "We know this is because of the large number of people who have stepped up to do what they can".

"I'm so exhausted of seeing the very people most deserving of love and kindness - who have been pushed away by everybody - still get substandard health services", he told Metro.

Tennessee Overdose Prevention and other groups hosted an event at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville. "You heard there was 249 (deaths)".

The vigil was another way for hurting families to come together and receive support. "You see it with every age group, every gender, every socioeconomic class that suffers from this awful issue".

From a law enforcement perspective, Steele said officials are treating overdose deaths as homicide investigations.

"And in many cases, that's not true".

"Based on our admissions as well we are getting people who are coming from all different areas of the state, different communities outside of our normal typical population", Zuppardi told NBC Connecticut.

Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards said they see a variety of drug use which includes heroine and fentanyl, but it is actually prescription drugs that tend to be the easiest for users to get a hold of.

"I know from experience that it is a miserable existence and you don't have to live that way anymore", Zimmer said.

"We are here to fight the stigma".

Tanisha McKenzie, of Egg Harbor Township, spoke about losing her sister to a heroin overdose more than a year ago.

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