By Jessica Kartalija

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Drug overdose deaths in 2020 hit the highest number ever recorded. Now, a man who has overcome addiction himself is working to change the stigma surrounding opioid use in Philadelphia. Jessica Kartalija chats with Britt James Carpenter, founder of Philly Unknown.

Q: You were in a tragic car accident which ultimately kind of led to all of this. Can you take us back to that?

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A: I had broken my shoulder in five places and it was just a painful recovery, it was a long recovery, and a long road of therapy, and it involved a lot of pain pills. From there, it sort of just spiraled and cycled out of control for years and years, and got worse, and eventually grew to things and heroin.

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Q: How did you come up with Philly Unknown?

A: I wanted to show people that they belong somewhere. The work that here I do in the city, with our communities experiencing homelessness, with our communities that are fighting and battling substance use disorder, I became a voice, a platform. I was coming out of a dark time myself, just felt that it was something I had to give back. It was sort of like a calling to give back.

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Watch the video for the full chat.

Jessica Kartalija