WBIR's OD Epidemic series ends, opioid crisis reporting continues

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Throughout July WBIR has brought you special coverage, titled The OD Epidemic: Heartache, Hope, Help, about East Tennessee's opioid crisis.

Each day, we've updated our suspected death toll from drug overdoses in Knox County.

Related: Why WBIR is highlighting this crisis

In the first six months of the year, 164 people died of suspected drug ODs in the county. In July alone, at least 24 people are suspected to have died of overdoses.

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We've also brought you reports about East Tennessee families coping with the epidemic, first responders on the front lines, doctors seeking ways to treat an ever-growing population of addicts, the avenues of help that are available to you and your loved ones.

We've heard from many viewers who shared their own experiences with the opioid epidemic and suggested other stories for us to tell about the issue.

Related: How to get help

Thanks to you, we also saw dozens of people Friday bring more than 350 pounds of old and unwanted prescription medications to the station for proper disposal.

While Monday marks the end of the month and the end of our special coverage, we pledge to continue covering the crisis.

It's too important to ignore.

In Knox County alone, we're on a pace to surpass 300 suspected fatal drug overdoses in 2017. That's an unprecedented amount.

As Knoxville Police Department Chief David Rausch said when we began this project, it's a toll that should outrage every one of us until we finally begin to conquer it.