‘International Overdose Awareness Day’ remembers those whose lost their lives to addiction

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Drug addiction is a chronic and ugly disease.

On this “International Overdose Awareness Day,” community leaders are acknowledging people who lost their lives to drugs. The pandemic exacerbated the problem.

Capital District Latinos rallied in downtown Albany with survivors and those still in recovery. The regional director, Micky Jimenez, says she wants drug abusers to know there is a path to a better life.

“For us not to acknowledge the fact that these were folks just like you and me that have a disease affecting their brains,” Jimenez said. “We also have the folks that are doing well. We have to celebrate that and still inspire them with hope.”

Organizers gave everyone a purple ribbon to wear. It represents the detrimental effects overdoses have on people, and those closest to them.

In New York state alone, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone significantly worsened over the past year.

The New York State Health Department says nearly half of overdose deaths statewide are now linked to fentanyl.

As of August 15, pharmacies in the state are required to carry and dispense naloxone, which can be used to counter the effects of an overdose when administered.