'A crisis ignored': Overdose deaths surge among Black population as opioids extend reach


Standing before about 50 people in Living God Church in Avondale on a recent Saturday, Rashida Pearson explained how to use specially treated, thin paper strips to detect fentanyl in cocaine, meth and other drugs. She urged everyone who showed up to take some and to get a free box of Narcan before leaving.

Tables of the overdose prevention supplies lined the walls of the large meeting room, where mostly Black harm reduction workers talked to mostly Black neighbors about how fentanyl is killing Black loved ones and how overdose deaths can be prevented.