COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo (KRDO) -- Last year, the number of people dying from an overdose hit an all-time record in Colorado and on Tuesday, nonprofits and people in our community came together to remember those who have lost their lives as part of National Overdose Awareness Day.
In 2020, there were 1,512 overdose deaths statewide -- that's 38 percent higher than in 2019 -- and 186 people died from an overdose in El Paso County.
Embark/PCA offers recovery services in Colorado Springs. They say raising awareness helps break the stigma.
"The frustrating part is that we don’t really hear about these deaths because there’s so much shame and stigma wrapped around it. That’s another thing that we’re trying to do is come out and address the stigma and the shame," said Rod Rushing with Embark/PCA.
Rushing added that overdose deaths are completely preventable by educating people, talking openly, and carry Naloxone.
Naloxone, or Narcan, is a medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose.