In the constant review that is editing the fall issue of Tennessee Alumnus, one story caused me to pick up the red pen and cross out three numerals again and again. With each edit, the number changed climbing higher. By the end of July, I had added 24 to the tally. By mid-August, I had added eight more.

As of hitting publish on this blog post, 190 people have died this year from a drug overdose in Knox County. Most of those—as is the case across the state—can be attributed to opioid overdoses. In the United States, an average of 115 fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers die each day from opioid overdose. But they are beyond a number in a tally. They are imperfect lives—as are all—caught in an ensnaring vine of addiction.

We hope that you’ll join us as we explore what UT and its alumni are doing to combat it.