Hundreds of people marched through Philadelphia Kensington Avenue to raise awareness about the opioid crisis in the city. They were dressed in black. The March in Black event took place on Thursday, August 31, 2007 at 6 p.m. Philadelphia has a serious opioid crisis. It is estimated that 70,000 people in this city are battling an opioid addiction. This means that this problem affects 1 in 22 people in the city.
Cheri Honkala was one of the people who attended the march. This event was important to her because she lost family members due to an opioid addiction. Her son’s father is also battling an addiction, and she is hoping that he can overcome it.
Cheri stated that she is terrified every time she gets a call in the middle of the night. She thinks that it may be the last time that her son sees his father. People not only march to bring awareness to this issue, but they also march in order to show people how this addiction affects family members and friends.
Ronnie Sue Kiser was one of the people who attended the march. She stated that there are a lot of misconceptions about addicts. Many people think that they are bad people. However, they are good people with families. People who are battling an addiction do not need to be shamed.
Dan Martino is one of the people who organized the event. He stated that people want to move forward and heal. Thirteen people die every day due to an opioid overdose. Philadelphia also leads the state in overdose deaths. Fentanyl, which is one of the most commonly prescribed opioids, is more potent than heroin.
In August, people began cleaning up an area that is known as the Tracks. This is an area between Farhill and Kensington where people often get high.