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People gather for vigil to rememeber loved ones who died due to overdoses and opioid epidemic

People gathered for a vigil memorial where they could remember loved ones who died due to the opioid epidemic.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tuesday is National Overdose Awareness Day, which is meant to give communities a chance to remember the people who may have died due to the opioid epidemic and overdoses.

At North Acres Baptist Church in Knoxville, officials organized an event where people could remember their loved ones and speak their minds about the opioid epidemic. It was meant to give people a space where they could connect with others who experienced similar situations as them.

"Tonight, this is a place for families to heal, and the community to be able to speak about something everyone is passionate about," said Jessica Stanley, the regional overdose prevention specialist for Knox County. "We hope that people take away from this that people do recover, and we're not just written off as a statistic."

The Knox County District Attorney General's office said around 300 people died from suspected drug overdoses so far this year. In 2020, they said there were 383 suspected overdose deaths.