Tennesseans Remember Victims on International Overdose Awareness Day
Friday marked International Overdose Awareness Day -- a global effort to bring attention to the crisis.
Each year on Aug. 31, former addicts, family and friends gathered to remember the lost loved ones.
The group hopes to prevent future overdose deaths and raise awareness to the issue, offering a candlelight tribute for those who've died to drug overdose.
As a symbol of their loss, each family carried a pair of shoes to the somber tribute.
The overdose crisis continues to be felt here at home in East Tennessee. As of Aug. 31, 2018 -- 198 people had died to suspected overdose in Knox County alone. That's two more than the 196 that had died at this point last year.
293 people total died in 2017 to suspected overdose in Knox County. A mother who lose her son to overdose says the OD epidemic is worse than ever.
"I just don't remember it ever being this bad before, and I just hope something can be done. They need to understand it doesn't just affect someone else -- it will affect them," Lisa Murphy said.