Avery Kalafatas

Avery Kalafatas is on a mission. When her cousin died in 2020 from an accidental fentanyl overdose, Avery channeled her grief into action. She founded Project One Life (, a non-profit dedicated to promoting education about the drug and reducing deaths by drug overdose and accidental fentanyl poisoning. Through her site, she recruits and trains Ambassadors across the country who lead the charge of educating other teens and young adults in schools and colleges/universities across the country.

Her site provides education and suggestions for how to spread the news, including generating posts on social media, speaking to classes, hanging flyers, etc.

According to the Center for Disease Control, overdose deaths for teens aged 14 – 18 increased 94% from 2019 to 2020, and another 20% from 2020 to 2021. Part of this was due to illicitly manufactured drugs being easily accessible online, and a massive increase in the number and distribution of counterfeit pills that looked nearly exactly the same as Xanax, Oxycodone, or other prescription drugs.

As a mother of teens and having spent 20 years in a career working with teens, this is terrifying. While our country tries to get a handle on this massive issue; tracking down where fentanyl is coming from, not to mention the underlying causes for drug use, and don’t even get me started on how our society over-prescribes addictive drugs, while we deal with these challenges, I’m grateful to Avery and Project1Life for providing much needed education.