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Facing an Everyday Killer

Opioid Users Face Those Who've Lost Loved Ones to Overdose

  • One in four Americans has been directly impacted by the opioid crisis, but 40% still do not consider it to be a threat to their family, according to National Safety Council poll results. In an attempt to end this persistent indifference, the Council released a powerful short film that brings opioid users face to face with those who have been personally impacted by the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history.

    The video, Facing an Everyday Killer, is part of the Council's Stop Everyday Killers campaign, a public awareness initiative to help educate about the risks of taking opioids and encourage people to explore other pain treatment options.

    Facing an Everyday Killer illustrates the potential for a well-intentioned opioid user to become a statistic – a trend that is much too common. Far too many opioid addictions begin with valid prescriptions following an injury or surgery.

    “The most important thing to know about this crisis is not the numbers and statistics, but the faces,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The data speak to our head but the individual stories speak to our hearts. The Facing an Everyday Killer video not only puts an image on the scope of the problem, but also encourages actions that will help us eliminate these preventable deaths.”

    Facing an Everyday Killer includes sweeping footage of the Council's Prescribed to Death Memorial that launched in Chicago Nov. 9 and drew hundreds of visitors who came to remember, learn and act. The Memorial includes a wall with 22,000 engraved pills, each carved with the image of someone who fatally overdosed last year. It will travel across the country, with a stop planned in Pittsburgh in late January.

    As part of this campaign, NSC is distributing Opioid Warn-Me labels patients can stick on their insurance and pharmacy cards to prompt a conversation with their prescribers about the risks of taking opioids and possible alternatives. Pharmaceutical disposal company Stericycle is providing pre-paid Seal&Send envelopes for disposing of unused medications

    The short film can be downloaded via YouTube, accessed at and shared on social media using the hashtag, #StopEverydayKillers.

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The Memorial is on the Road

NSC launched the Prescribed to Death Memorial in Chicago in November. In January, the Memorial wall and all the other components of the exhibit traveled to the University of Pittsburgh.

  • The next tour stop is the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit April 2-5 in Atlanta. The Memorial will not be open to the public this time, but 3,000 attendees are expected to attend the largest annual conference in the U.S. addressing the opioid crisis.
  • From April 11-18, the White House and National Park Service will host the Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the White House South Lawn.

Check back to find out where the memorial will be headed next.

National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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