Why one guy mapping opioid deaths won’t get out of your head

HOUSTON--- Take a look at the faces on this map.

https://opioidepidemic.maps.arcgis.com/apps/StoryMapCrowdsource/index.html?appid=19f5247b5bd043dda9a25b22c0919760

They look so happy don’t they?

Before you start feeling jealous, you should feel sad.

They’re all dead. More than 400 people who have overdosed on heroin or pain pills. This interactive map was created eight years ago by Jeremiah Lindemann when his brother overdosed.

You ever think sometimes the only way to get anyone to really notice a problem is to put a face on the problem? Don’t you feel like we don’t go all in on an issue until we feel an emotional connection.

Remember the AIDS epidemic.

How many of you didn’t care until you saw that picture of Rock Hudson or watched Magic’s moment?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbdOQUARrEU

Now think about what’s going on in Syria.

How many of you really cared until you saw the picture of that little boy covered in smoke and debris?

Pictures can change perceptions quickly, and right now, fighting the opioid crisis needs even more attention.

33,000 people a year are dying, nearly as many who die from the flu      https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

This issue should be front and center. You have to actually search for opioid on the CDC and Health and Human Services web sites   https://www.hhs.gov/  https://www.cdc.gov/  You’ll find informative material there, but it will take a little time.

You can also go the top issues section on whitehouse.gov  https://www.whitehouse.gov/#page. You’ll find that economy and foreign policy are featured, but you won’t see “drug addictions.”

The opioid map helps put a face to those horrible stories by creating that emotional connection.

Unlike those government websites the problem is staring us right in the face!