Newswise — Drug-involved overdose deaths continue to rise across the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 106,000 people died from a drug-involved overdose in 2021, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. Just eight years ago, in 2015, 52,404 people died from drug-involved overdoses. 

Every year, March 6 is "Black Balloon Day." Black Balloon Day has become a national and international event, bringing awareness to overdose deaths. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

Saint Joseph’s University’s Institute for Clinical Bioethics (ICB) is studying possible solutions to the problem. 

In 2019, Peter Clark, S.J., Ph.D., professor and director of the ICB, led an interdisciplinary group that published a safe injection site model to prevent the deaths of thousands of Philadelphians vulnerable to opioid overdose.

“We have to do something immediately to deal with this epidemic in the city,” says Clark. “Human lives are being lost and medical resources are being used on these overdose cases. Unless we take drastic steps, like the safe injection site initiative, more lives will be lost and more medical resources wasted.”

Father Clark is available for expert comment/interview on the latest news on the opioid epidemic. Both broadcast/print. 

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