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International Overdose Awareness Day: Metro Drug Coalition hosts resource fair, memorial event at World's Fair Park

MDC said there were more than 50 vendors at the fair to help anyone who may be struggling with addiction.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Thursday marked International Overdose Awareness Day, and the Metro Drug Coalition hosted a resource fair in World's Fair Park to help anyone struggling with addiction.

So far this month, the Knox County District Attorney's General Office reported 36 suspected overdose deaths. They reported 319 deaths so far this year — a number that is slightly down compared to this time last year.

International Overdose Awareness Day falls on Aug. 31 and is meant to remember people who died due to an overdose, acknowledge the grief felt by friends and family and renew a commitment to end overdose deaths and related harms.

The Metro Drug Coalition's resource fair included around 50 vendors on site, as well as speakers such as Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. They spoke at 6:30 p.m. following proclamations and the resource fair, which started at 5 p.m.

There was also a memorial for people who died due to a drug overdose at around 8:45 p.m.

Anyone struggling with addiction can attend the resource fair and find help. They can also reach out to people for help by calling or texting the Tennessee REDLINE for referrals to services. That number is 1-800-889-9789. 

They can also find help online, using a website that the Tennessee Department of Health helped develop which guides people to nearby openings and services at substance-use facilities.

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