“223aDay” Campaign to Raise Awareness of Drug Overdose Deaths

Updated: Mar 17

New CDC data reveals an average of 223 Americans die each day from drug overdose



North Bethesda -- March 1, 2020 – Today Addiction Policy Forum launched the 223aDay campaign to raise awareness of the 223 lives that are lost to a drug overdose every day in the United States. The 223aDay campaign gives families and friends a national platform to share their stories of loved ones lost to drug overdose while also increasing public awareness of the opioid epidemic.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health advisory on the increase in fatal overdoses nationwide indicates that 81,230 people died of overdose deaths from June 2019 through May 2020, an 18.2% increase from the previous year. Synthetic opioids were the primary driver of the increase in overdoses, followed by overdose deaths involving cocaine.


“223 families lose a loved one every single day to a drug overdose; that is far too many lives lost,” says Jessica Hulsey, founder of Addiction Policy Forum. “COVID-19 has only exacerbated the crisis, as the isolation, service disruptions, and financial worries of the pandemic collides with the opioid and stimulant crisis. We need to double down our efforts to support individuals struggling with addiction.”


“The 223aDay campaign will help shine a light on the real people and lives behind the number,” says Essex County Massachusetts District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, Chair of the Addiction Policy Forum Board of Directors. ““It is easy to become numb to the numbers of lives lost. This project will, hopefully, help those who have lost a loved one not feel so alone in their grief.”


To read the personal stories submitted by families across the country, submit your story, or to take action to stop overdoses, please visit www.stop-overdose.org.




Addiction Policy Forum is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health problem. Our national headquarters is located in Washington, DC with resources and services in every state.