Video: Camden County Supports Overdose Awareness Day

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CAMDEN, N.J. – Camden County and its employees joined together on August 31st to support Overdose Awareness Day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 129 overdose deaths each day in the nation. And with 446 overdoses so far this year, 21 of them fatal, Camden city residents are on the frontlines of the addiction battle
The goal of Overdose Awareness Day is to again bring to light the issue that drug overdose is a serious problem in America.
“Even one overdose is a problem, but we of course have many more and it is a problem,” said Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez. “We want to make sure the community recognizes how significant this is for our community.”
Camden County employees were asked to wear purple in honor of the day and to honor those whose lives are lost daily. They joined in a moment of silence at 1:29 p.m. this afternoon.
Deputy County Administrator Dominic Vesper shared this is an epidemic that has hit the county very hard. And in response to this problem, the county came up with an addiction awareness task force several years ago.
The idea is to no longer treat those using drugs as criminals, but treat them as individuals who are dealing with a disease and illness.
“So what we’re trying to do as part of the Drug Awareness Task Force is to change how people perceive and view individuals that are struggling with this disease,” said Rodriguez.
The hope is to not only increase awareness, but make treatment possible more accessible and getting more naloxone for emergency personnel and family members of those suffering from a drug addiction.
And so far the county says that improvement is being made.
In addition to the moment of silence held earlier today, Camden County will light up Camden’s City Hall building in purple tonight to share even more support for National Overdose Awareness Day.
"We have those individuals who pretty much find themselves at the point that they just can’t deal with it anymore and either by accident or intentionally they will overdose. They need our support, they need our love and they need our help. We need to get that message out to people,” said Rodriguez.