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Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council is partnering with the Executive Office of the President, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service to bring the Council's opioid memorial to the Ellipse in President's Park at the White House April 12-18. Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisisputs a face on the worst drug crisis in recorded United States history, personalizing an issue that President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency last fall.
"President Trump and his entire Administration are committed to combatting the opioid 'crisis next door' on all fronts and with every community across the nation. The decision to bring the memorial to Washington is part of President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump's efforts to raise awareness about the crisis and to make us each part of solution," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President.
One in four Americans has been directly impacted by opioid misuse, according to a recent NSC survey. In an attempt to underscore the sheer magnitude of the crisis, 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 in 2015. Some of the victims' personal effects also are on display. 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. Guests receive first-of-their-kind "Opioids: Warn Me" labels to affix to their insurance cards, empowering them to engage in a dialogue with prescribers about the risks of taking opioids and whether other pain relief options are appropriate. Stericycle – a Chicago-based waste disposal company – has partnered with the Council to provide pre-paid mail envelopes to help visitors easily get rid of unused medications.
"This crisis is affecting our coworkers, friends and family members," said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. "We appreciate that the Administration is shining a national spotlight on this everyday killer, and we know that coordination and commitment from all stakeholders will be needed to solve this epidemic."
Washington, D.C. is the third stop on the Prescribed to Death nationwide tour. After launching in Chicago last November, the memorial stopped in Pittsburgh in January and will be displayed at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta April 2-5. The Council also is planning a stop in Ohio.
During its visit to the Ellipse, the Prescribed to Death Memorial will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from April 12-18. Admission is free. Visit stopeverydaykillers.org for more information.
About the National Safety Council
The 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.