A project of Addiction Policy Forum




The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2018 data revealed that more than 67,367 people died from drug overdoses - 185 a day - making it the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, more than deaths from gun violence or car accidents. 

185aDay remembers those lost to drug overdose.


Our Stories

“People are told the disease has to ‘run its course’ and to practice ‘tough love’ until they hit rock bottom. Now with fentanyl, rock bottom was an overdose, a fatal overdose. I wish we had found better advice but there is just so much misinformation out there about this disease. Bottom is death today.”
- Justin, mother of Aaron
9 Things We Wish We'd Known

As families who have lost our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers, we have linked together in our shared heartbreak, to help other families impacted by the disease of addiction and to protect other families from this tragedy.

This letter to you is about the things we wish we had known — the things we’ve learned since we suffered our losses and wish we had done differently.

If you love someone who is struggling with addiction, if you have a family member, a coworker or a friend in trouble because of alcohol or drug use, this is for you. We hope that this knowledge, painfully earned, can help you and your family.




Share Your Story

We welcome all loved ones impacted by addiction to join the #185aDay awareness campaign by telling the story of whom you lost. Sharing your journey helps families impacted by this disease, and reduces stigma for those struggling. 

With your story, together, we can change the narrative of addiction.





In our words

Family members and friends of those lost bravely share the stories of their loved one's journeys here to help raise awareness of the lethal impact of America's struggle with use disorder, as well as to help tear down the stigma still associated with the disease of addiction.




Our Stories

"I wish I would've known that recovery is not about 3 months, 6 months, a year in rehab. It’s a lifetime. When they release someone from rehab, it’s not the end. It’s the very beginning. That’s what happened with Alicia, they released her and she had no plan and three days later she died."
- Karla, mother of Alicia

If you or a loved one are struggling, find help here



The Addiction Policy Forum Resource Database supports patients, families, and providers with critical information about addiction and connects them to quality treatment and recovery resources through our vetted database.







Learn more about the disease of addiction

Learn About Addiction

Addiction—the severe form of a substance use disorder—is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. 

In some people, substance use changes how the brain functions. These changes make it progressively more difficult to stop the unhealthy behaviors that are common among people with an active SUD.