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Advocates To March For Overdose Awareness Thursday At FAU

Delray Beach Fire Rescue responds to a double-overdose call on Nov. 18, 2016.
Peter Haden
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than car accidents or gun violence.

Thursday is International Overdose Awareness Day and, to mark the occasion, advocates and officials from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties will gather on the Florida Atlantic University campus in Boca Raton to call for greater federal action to end the United States’s epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths.

Rallies will be held in cities around the country.

Maureen Kielian is a parent advocate from Fort Lauderdale who helped organize the event.

“My son one time said to me, ‘Mom, I know so many people from my high school that are dead [from drug overdoses].’” said Kielian. “And I sat back and I thought, how horrific is that? That’s a sad statement.”

Officials estimate 14 people a day died of overdoses in Florida last year.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, attendees will March from FAU's Research Park to University Theater, where they will hold a town hall discussion and a candlelight vigil.

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Peter Haden is an award-winning investigative reporter and photographer currently working with The Center for Investigative Reporting. His stories are featured in media outlets around the world including NPR, CNN en Español, ECTV Ukraine, USA Today, Qatar Gulf Times, and the Malaysia Star.