BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Beverly Hills City Hall was lit purple Monday night in honor of Overdose Awareness Day.
Los Angeles City Hall and the Staples Center were which seeks to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Nearly 71,000 Americans died of overdoses 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also said 2020 may see the sharpest increase in annual overdose deaths since 2016, partially because researchers have found that economic recessions correlate with an increase in drug use and overdoses.
"People are feeling a lot more despair, anxiety, and rootlessness," and that can "lea[d] to more problematic drug use and more risk of overdose," Brendan Saloner, a substance use disorder researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the New York Times.
The day also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdoses.
"No family is immune to the devastation of drug addiction and far too many suffer the heartbreak of losing loved ones to overdose," said Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz, who introduced the motion to turn the lights purple in partnership with the nonprofit organization Moms Against Drugs.
In June, Beverly Hills City Hall was emblazoned with the words “George Floyd.”
— City News Service contributed to this report.