Prescribed to Death

Facing an Everyday Killer

NSC Brings Opioid Memorial to Albany, N.Y., May 20-23

The National Safety Council is partnering with BlueShield of Northeastern New York and other Capital Region funders to bring the Council’s opioid memorial to the New York State Capitol May 20-23.

Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis is free and open to the public from 12:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, May 20, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, May 21 and 22, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23. The exhibit, displayed at the base of The Egg on the concourse level of the Empire State Plaza near the convention center, puts a face on the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, personalizing an issue that has been declared a public health emergency.

Exhibit Aims to End Persistent Indifference

For the first time in U.S. history, a person is more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash, according to National Safety Council analysis. The odds of dying accidentally from an opioid overdose have risen to 1 in 96, eclipsing the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash (1 in 103).

Millions of Americans have 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.

NSC launched Prescribed to Death – a multifaceted exhibit aimed at changing Americans’ attitudes toward opioids – as a part of the Council’s Stop Everyday Killers public education campaign. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a wall of 22,000 engraved white pills – each representing the face of someone lost to a prescription opioid overdose.

The memorial is accompanied by resources that help visitors both safely dispose of unused pills in their homes and facilitate discussions with prescribers about alternatives. Visitors receive first-of-their-kind “Opioids: Warn Me” labels to affix to their insurance cards, empowering them to discuss with prescribers the risks of taking opioids and whether other pain relief options are available. The Council has partnered with Stericycle, a Chicago-based waste disposal company, to provide Seal&Send medication disposal envelopes to help visitors easily get rid of unused medications. The envelopes are safe, reliable and anonymous.

Individuals who have lost loved ones to opioid overdose had the opportunity to honor them at the exhibit by adding their loved one’s name to a digital memorial provided by the National Safety Council.

Albany is the seventh stop on the memorial’s nationwide tour. Unveiled in Chicago in November 2017, the memorial previously visited Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Fayetteville, AR, Houston, Buffalo and Washington, D.C., where it was displayed on the Ellipse in President’s Park at the White House.