With overdoses on the rise, Travis County DA partners with nonprofit

Travis County drug overdoses rose 30 percent last year compared to 2019, according to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

District Attorney Jose Garza is using music to fight the growing drug crisis.

"Using our resources to address substance use disorder as a public health crisis makes our community more safe." he explained.

Garza’s office is partnering with Austin-area nonprofit SIMS Foundation, which provides mental health and substance use recovery services to music industry professionals.  

"He just basically wanted to take our substance use disorder recovery to a larger number of people in our music community." said SIMS executive director Patsy Dolan Bouressa.

Saturday December 4 Garza will introduce the inaugural "Safer Together" concert series. The multi-venue event kicks off at Mohawk at 8 p.m. and raises money for SIMS.

"It's really just having the strength of the office behind us and knowing that we have his support." Dolan Bouressa explained.

According to the CDC, U.S. drug overdose deaths topped 100,000 for the first time in a year, from April 2020 to 2021.

"These overdoses were devastating — not to sound callous or cold, but not unexpected. As humans, we’re not meant to be locked up and separated the way that we were for a year and a half." Dolan Bouressa said.

Nationwide, the CDC states overdose deaths from semi-synthetic opioids like painkillers and synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl are up. Stimulant deaths related to meth and cocaine are also up.

Garza says there has also been a number of incidents involving people inadvertently ingesting fentanyl.

A look at the full lineup for the event broken down by venue:


  • Blackillac
  • Sheridan Reed


  • Otis the Destroyer
  • Rare Bloom (Power Tip Tribute)
  • Aspen 88 (of Oats & Honey)
  • Hey Hey Baby


  • Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad
  • Lord Friday the 13th
  • Moon Medallion

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