In May, CDC revealed in provisional data that more people died of a drug overdose in 2021 than in any other year – 107,622. And the Journal of the American Medical Association reported in an April research letter that teens 14-18 experienced the largest jump in overdose deaths compared with the overall population.   

Ed and Mary Ternan are not surprised by these sobering statistics, and they are working to reverse the trend. They founded Song for Charlie, a nonprofit dedicated to warning young people to not buy medicine online without a prescription. In 2020, their son Charlie passed away after ordering what he thought was a Percocet on social media. Instead, it was a “fentapill.” He died within 30 minutes.  

We want to see the number of overdose deaths decrease too, so we are glad to help the Ternans share their message. The collaboration is part of our larger efforts to protect public health and empower patients with medication safety information. We recently revamped our patient-focused resources with a new look and updated information about medication safety, from buying to storing to disposing of it. 

You can help us spread the word about medication safety to patients! 

The number of overdose deaths is staggering and reinforces the need for all of us to act. If we all work together to spread awareness, we can lessen the chances that other families will experience the tragedy that the Ternans and too many other families have to live with each day.