FAIRFIELD — Drug overdose death is preventable and unfortunately has cost many people their lives. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 50.

International Overdose Awareness Day takes place on Aug. 31 every year. People and communities come together to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises — one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse.

In honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, the Fairfield Health Department, along with Fairfield CARES, and the Fairfield Police Department will be hosting the second annual Overdose Vigil. This Overdose Awareness Vigil will take place on Friday, Aug. 30 on the Sherman Town Green at 7 p.m.

This vigil is a great place for people to gather who have lost loved ones due to an overdose, for those in recovery, for those who know someone who is struggling with the hardship of addiction, and for anyone who would like to support community members or learn more. The Candlelight Vigil will allow us to remember those in our community we have lost to this terrible disease, and to find the strength and support to fight for those we know who are battling with addiction. All are welcomed to attend.

Fatal drug overdoses are killing too many people. In 2018, there were more than 1,000 drug overdose deaths in Connecticut. Fentanyl has been responsible for a considerable number of overdose deaths due to the potency of the drug. From 2012 to 2018, there have been about 21 drug overdose deaths in the town of Fairfield. These deaths could have been prevented.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction it is imperative to seek help in order to prevent further drug overdose deaths. Please visit https://www.fairfieldct.org/Opioids and/or fairfieldct.org/fairfieldcares for resources on treatment and additional information. Drug addiction can happen to anyone. Helping people that have a drug addiction is the only way to stop overdose deaths.

Fairfield CARES Community Coalition is a task force established in 2009 by the Fairfield First Selectman’s Office to prevent underage drinking and substance misuse. Members include parents, school representatives, local business leaders, law enforcement, clergy, counseling professionals, and members of youth services organizations.

For questions about the Vigil and for more information please contact the Fairfield Health Department at 203-256-3150.