In 2019, nearly 71,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.¹ Of those deaths, approximately 71% were due to opioid abuse.­² That same year, the Blay family lost Steven—a son, brother, nephew, grandchild, and friend—due to an accidental opioid overdose. What became apparent shortly after Steven’s passing was the lack of resources and support available to those who had lost a loved one due to drug overdose.

There are many unique challenges and emotions inherent to overdose loss that most existing support groups fail to adequately account for. Spurred by the loss of Steven and the subsequent realization that so many others are unable to find suitable support, we decided to act.

Our organization, Addicted to Life 319, is based in San Jose, California and coordinates support groups specifically dedicated to those who have lost loved ones due to drug overdose. We seek to bring awareness to adolescents, young adults, and parents about the prevalence of drug overdose as well as the underlying issues associated with it. Furthermore—and just as crucially—we strive to cut through the heavy stigma that continues to surround addiction and mental health.

As the affliction of drug overdose deaths continues to soar across the United States—which increased nearly 30% in 2020³ —we want to serve as a resource for those affected in our community.

Whether you have lost a child, parent, grandchild, spouse, or close friend, we welcome you to Addicted to Life 319.

[1] “Drug Overdose Deaths.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed 21 July 2021.
[2] “Drug Overdose Deaths.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed 21 July 2021.
[3] Steenhuysen, Julie. “U.S. drug overdose deaths rise 30% to record during pandemic.” Reuters, Accessed 21 July 2021.