If you are visiting this page you are probably well aware of the Opioid Crisis that is happening in our Country. It is effecting far too many families. It effected me too- I lost my little brother J.T. J.T. was the most charming person you would ever meet and could light up any room with laughter. He was my best man at my wedding and many people considered him their best friend. He became addicted to powerful painkiller called OxyContin. Before 2007 I had no idea what OxyContin was. After hearing many more stories similar to my brother’s on the news I decided to become involved.
In my daytime job I am a geographer that works for Esri- the leading mapping software company. I wanted to apply those skills and technologies to help get the word out. There is a definite stigma about people who use drugs. This storymap “Celebrating Lost Loved Ones” shows a very small sample of people who have been lost to the epidemic. Their picture has a bio with details about what made them special.
The map is embedded here on TruthPharm:
Here is the form to submit your loved one:
The Lost Loved Ones map started roughly a year ago and now has over 150 contributions, really a tiny fraction of what is occurring. However, it illustrates that this problem is happening everywhere, to really great people. More mapping is being done around the epidemic as well and can be found in this gallery:
Some of the other maps are demographic maps that look at deaths by county, states that have Prescription Drop Off Locations, where Naloxone was used to save a life, and where over-prescribing is taking place that will likely lead to more problems.
Maps are a great communication tool – I hope you find them useful in helping get the word out about this epidemic to help drive more change. Thank you TruthPharm for all that you are doing!