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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The National Safety Council made Arkansas the fifth stop on a nationwide tour of its exhibit, Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis, by unveiling the exhibit inside the Arkansas Union on the University of Arkansas campus. The Memorial’s arrival – made possible through a partnership with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge – comes in the midst of an opioid crisis that continues to worsen. NSC analysis indicates opioid overdoses in Arkansas have risen 21% in the last 10 years, with 169 fatal opioid overdoses in 2016.
The memorial exhibit is free and open to the public from 1-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until Oct. 9 inside Room 201 of the Arkansas Union, 435 Garland Ave., Fayetteville. Prescribed to Death is one of several components of the Council’s Stop Everyday Killers campaign – a national effort to help educate Americans about the risks of taking opioids and put a face on the thousands killed from preventable overdoses. The memorial launched last year in Chicago and has since visited Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Buffalo, N.Y. It will travel to Houston Oct. 22-24.
“The most fatally abused drug today may be sitting in medicine cabinets across Arkansas,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “Fortunately, we know what we need to do to eliminate these preventable deaths, and education plays a critical role. We hope the Stop Everyday Killers campaign helps personalize this tragedy in order to save lives.”
The Prescribed to Death exhibit includes a memorial wall made of thousands of small white pills, each carved with a human face to represent those lost to prescription opioid overdose in 2015. Visitors will receive first-of-their-kind “Opioids: Warn Me” labels for insurance and pharmacy cards in an effort to prompt a critical conversation between patients and prescribers about risks and possible alternatives. NSC partnered with Stericycle, a Chicago-based waste disposal company, to provide pre-paid Seal&Send envelopes to memorial visitors so they can easily and anonymously mail back old or unused prescriptions safely.
Individuals who have lost loved ones to opioid overdose will have the opportunity to honor them by adding their loved one’s name to a digital memorial provided by the National Safety Council, or by sharing photos, flowers or personal effects on site. Please note, items left at the memorial will not be returned.
In addition to Attorney General Rutledge’s office, the exhibit is underwritten by contributions from Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart, Arkansas Municipal League, Association of Arkansas Counties, Prescription Drug Safety Network - powered by EVERFI, and Schneider. Visit stopeverydaykillers.org for more information.
About the National Safety CouncilThe National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.
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