The New Bedford Opioid Task Force is joining with other human service agencies in New Bedford to raise awareness about the drug overdoses and the stigmas attached to drug use.

Next Tuesday, August 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day. The public is invited to join Task Force members, families, and human service works for a special program to remember those lost to drug use.

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The event will begin at 5 p.m. at New Bedford City Hall. Participants will march to Custom House Square for a speaking program that will feature people working on the front lines of drug addiction in New Bedford, and those who have lost loved ones to drug overdoses.

Tuesday Desrochers is one of those people. When her son Caleb was 20 years old, he asked his mother for help in battling his addiction. That began a four-year journey through rehab facilities, treatment clinics and sober houses that sadly ended when Caleb died from a fentanyl overdose at the age of 24.

Desrochers will speak at Tuesday's event, reminding everyone that drug abuse is an illness that needs to be recognized and treated. Desrochers and Connie Rocha Mimosa of Seven Hills Behavioral Health joined me this week on Townsquare Sunday to discuss the August 31 event, and remind us that drug users aren't necessarily bad people, that they're sick and  simply need help.

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard Sundays at 6 and 11 a.m. on 1420 WBSM. The program features individuals and organizations working to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like to have your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at

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