The numbers are chilling: 1,217 people in Philadelphia died following a drug overdose last year, according to the Department of Public Health. These figures have steadily increased over the past decade – they’re up 34% from just 2016 – leading to what is currently being described as an epidemic.
While it might be easy for those who aren’t dependent on opioids to ignore this crisis, users don’t exist in a vacuum. They are our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors and their plight is very much intertwined with ours. The arts and music scenes have historically been heavily affected by drug and alcohol abuse. This is also true today in Philadelphia, with numerous musicians and artists dying after overdoses just in the past couple years.
Because of stigma surrounding drug use, the conversation around how to prevent these tragedies is oftentimes muted. Sarah Kim is trying to change that. The artist and journalist has helped put together an event tonight at the Vox Populi art gallery that is both panel discussion and training for the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, as well as a concert featuring electronic acts Hero/Victim and Orion Sun.
Money raised at the door will go towards the local harm reduction organizations Project SAFE and Philadelphia Overdose Prevention Initiative (POPI). Continue reading →