Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2023 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mobile event shines light on drug addiction and overdose

A drug overdose rescue kit is pictured in Buffalo, N.Y. The Biden administration plans to increase access to clean needles, fentanyl test strips and naloxone to combat drug overdose deaths.
Carolyn Thompson
/
AP
A drug overdose rescue kit is pictured in Buffalo, N.Y. The Biden administration plans to increase access to clean needles, fentanyl test strips and naloxone to combat drug overdose deaths.

Tomorrow is National Overdose Awareness Day. The Centers For Disease Control says the number of drug related deaths in Alabama jumped by 20 percent last year.

Fentanyl overdoses are now the leading cause of death in adults between the ages of 18 and 45. The CDC estimates that overdose deaths in the United States increased nearly 15 percent from the year before.

The Drug Education Council in Mobile is presenting a program tomorrow called After Dopesick: An Evening with Steve Loyd and Friends.

If that title sounds familiar, it’s the title of a series on Hulu. Drug Education Council Executive Director Virginia Guy says Loyd was the inspiration behind the series.

"Dr. Steve Lloyd is the inspiration behind the character in the Hulu series, Dopesick. Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. We know that throughout the country, people will be gathering to address this issue. We are really excited to have people gathering in this historic theater to talk about our community and our problems," Guy said. "We have lost way too many of our loved ones to overdoses. And we know that there are people still out there suffering who we can reach out to. We also know that there are people who have suffered with addiction that are now in recovery. We want to celebrate those folks as well."

Loyd was a Tennessee physician who became addicted to pain medication. He hopes the evening provides understanding and solutions in south Alabama.

"This night is important to help people understand the complexity of the issue, how it impacts Alabama and more importantly, what we can do going forward," he said. "That's what it's about. People from the community who will come and share their loss because they need to, and they haven't had a forum to do that. It will also connect them with people who can help them going forward, even if they have suffered a loss. That's why I'm coming."

“Dopesick” is based on the best-selling book by Beth Macy. She will be part of the panel as well.

Lynn Oldshue is a reporter for Alabama Public Radio.
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.