It's a chilling title, but we all know there's an epidemic of death-by-overdose going on.

I hope I'm wrong, but so many people seem anesthetized to overdose deaths. So often, we read about someone overdosing in their car with a child in the back seat. Listeners call in with comments like "they'd be better off dead."

Until you lose a loved one, death by overdose is just something you hear about, because there's no personal association attached to it.

This afternoon at 5:15 p.m., on the steps of City Hall in New Bedford, you'll hear from distraught local family members whose world came crashing down. Perhaps you'll hear from the mother of college football star on scholarship, whose son died on the stretcher as she held his limp hand. Or maybe you'll hear from the sister of a local blue collar worker of a well-known food distributor, who was prescribed opioid pain killers after a knee replacement operation.

It's a national problem that can start at home after surgery. Last year, a story in the Cape Cod Times said that while half of Cape Cod's population works in the trades, and 64 percent of people who died by opioid overdoses between 2004 and 2014 were blue collar workers like carpenters, cooks and wait staff. You know, everyday people like you.

Please make an effort to support International Overdose Awareness Day in New Bedford by helping break down the barriers and fight the stigma associated with overdose deaths. Join the local families whose messages will take you much higher than drugs.

Phil Paleologos is the host of the Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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