Awareness Ceremony Honors Bronx Lives Lost to Opioid Overdose

Bronx overdose awareness

Nonprofit Samaritan Daytop Village, Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson, State Senator Nathalia Fernandez, and Assemblymember Landon C. Dais Raised Awareness about the Devastating Impact of the Opioid Overdose Crisis in the Bronx

— 831 purple ribbons in Joyce Kilmer Park represent the Bronx residents who lost their lives to overdose —

Click here for photographs and b-roll for coverage. Credit: Courtesy of Anat Gerstein, Inc. — 

Envoy's Educational Tour Focused on Substance Use Treatment and Prevention for Adolescents 


(BRONX, NY - June 24, 2024) - The nonprofit Samaritan Daytop Village, Samaritan Daytop Health, Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson, State Senator Nathalia Fernandez, and Assemblymember Landon C. Dais gathered Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Joyce Kilmer Park surrounded by a sea of hundreds of purple ribbons to honor and remember the Bronx residents we have lost to overdose.

Overdose deaths have soared in the last decade. In 2022, 3,026 people died from an overdose in New York City, according to data from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Bronx has the highest rates of overdose deaths, with 831 Bronx residents dying from overdose in 2022.

Thursday’s ceremony served as an opportunity to honor and remember the Bronx residents we have lost to overdose—and it was a call to action. Speakers called for more government support to address the overdose crisis and also shared information on where people can get help.

 purple flags cropped

Peers from Samaritan’s Peer Alliance Recovery Centers (PARC) spoke about the importance of harm reduction tools, including the life-saving medication Narcan, as well as personal experiences with substance use, overdose, and peer recovery programs.

If you or a loved one are seeking help in recovery in the Bronx, you can reach Samaritan Daytop Village’s PARC Bronx program at 929-244-1500.

“If you have seen what we have seen, you would understand why we have to act now,” said Mitchell Netburn, President & CEO of Samaritan Daytop Village. “Lives are being lost about every hour and a half in New York State. We must keep the momentum going in the fight against overdoses and we need the funding to do that.”

“Opioid abuse creates harm beyond the individuals experiencing addiction,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “It affects our neighborhoods, communities, families, and loved ones. The high levels of opioid use and deaths in our borough are alarming and are a call to action. I want to thank Samaritan and the peer-led support network for their commitment to supporting our most vulnerable residents.”

“I’m committed with my colleagues to this cause, and I thank Samaritan Daytop Village for bringing attention to this,” said State Senator Nathalia Fernandez. “We have to keep bringing the resources, fighting the stigma, and preventing every death possible because if someone dies, they can’t get better.” /p>

“I’ve seen firsthand a member of my community who would have died if not for the administration of Narcan and a citizen who didn’t ignore him,” said Assemblymember Landon C. Dais. “I ask all the supportive networks to make sure the wraparound services have the resources they need to ensure that quality of life isn’t impacted in the community.”

"Every Narcan kit can save a life,” said Jesus Hernandez, a peer supervisor from PARC Bronx. “Remember the 3 P's: Peel, Pull, Press to dispense Narcan."

“Everything we offer at PARC Bronx is free,” said Antoinette Leonard, an intern at PARC Bronx. “We offer recreational activities like workshops, a free computer lab, meals, and peer support.”

“Narcan can save lives and it saved mine,” said Taylor Smith, a peer coordinator from PARC Queens. “If I didn’t wake up that day, I wouldn’t be able to share my story, and I hope whoever hears it gets the help they need.”

To learn more about Samaritan Daytop Village’s Peer Alliance Recovery Centers, click here.

To learn more about harm reduction at Samaritan Daytop Village, click here.

For over 60 years, Samaritan Daytop Village has been improving the quality of life for New Yorkers. The nonprofit is nationally recognized for the treatment of substance use disorder as well as for the veteran-specific approach it pioneered. Our continuum of services also includes health and mental health care, transitional and supportive housing, educational and vocational assistance, peer-assisted recovery, and specialized programs for adolescents, families, and seniors. Annually, Samaritan Daytop Village serves over 33,000 people at more than 60 facilities throughout New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley. For more information about Samaritan Daytop Village, visit