Purple ribbons fill Joyce Kilmer Park to raise awareness about ongoing opioid crisis

The Bronx leads all five boroughs in overdose deaths, with statistics showing that fentanyl is the main driving force in this crisis.

Heather Fordham and Adolfo Carrion

Jun 13, 2024, 9:47 PM

Updated 38 days ago

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Joyce Kilmer Park in the Grand Concourse was filled with purple ribbons - each one representing a life lost to opioid overdose.
The event was held in an effort to increase awareness about the ongoing opioid crisis in the Bronx. A total of 831 ribbons filled the park's grasses to represent the number of Bronx residents who died of overdoses in 2022.
Local nonprofit Samaritan Daytop Village, local leaders and residents came together for a ceremony to honor those lost lives and put a spotlight on the impact of opioids.
The Bronx leads all five boroughs in overdose deaths, with statistics showing that fentanyl is the main driving force in this crisis.
Samaritan Daytop Village provides substance abuse treatment across New York City. One of their supervisors tells News 12 that after going through his own battle with opioids, he's now committed to helping others.
"I was taught that you can't keep it unless you give it away," said opioid addition survivor Jesus Hernandez. "When I thought I was alone they showed me that I'm never alone, there is always someone to support me at Samaritan Village. There are a lot of people dying out there and we're trying to save lives."
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson is working with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to get more people trained on using Narcan, a life-saving tool that can help reverse an overdose.
Narcan is available for free at Parc Bronx on Courtlandt Avenue and 149th Street.


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