Frankfort had its own International Overdose Awareness Day celebration Thursday night at Prairie Creek Park in downtown Frankfort as hundreds of individuals turned out for the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose.
The campaign is a day for everyone to remember those who have died from drug overdose and acknowledges the grief of the family and friends left behind.
“I think this is an important event for our community,” said Frankfort Mayor Judy Sheets. “As you know, it is International Overdose Awareness Day, but I think it’s important to our community right now. We have lost family and friends to overdose and I think it’s important that they know they have the love and support of our community.”
The evening was filled with music, food, trainings and testimonials given by those who have recovered for the time being.
A new study indicates an increasing percentage of overdose deaths are related to counterfeit pill use. The report also found that in 2021, people who died from overdoses involving counterfeit pills were more often under the age of 35 and Hispanic, compared to those without counterfeit pill evidence.
Thursday’s event was a perfect lead-in to September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49,449 people took their lives in 2022. In 2021, 48,183 people died by suicide. That brings the combined total to just under 100,000 people.