Opioid Memorial, Wall Of 22,000 Pills, To Make Stop In Pittsburgh

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CHICAGO (KDKA/AP) – A memorial wall opens to the public in Chicago on Friday that includes 22,000 pills each engraved with the face of someone who died of an opioid overdose.

The National Safety Council memorial will be in Chicago through Nov. 16 before making stops in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Ohio and Washington, D.C.

The nonprofit organization calls the wall “Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis.” A machine carves a new pill on site every 24 minutes to represent the frequency of fatal overdoses.

The council also has created “Opioids: Warn Me” labels for insurance and pharmacy cards intended to prompt prescribers and patients to discuss opioids before they’re taken. The council says it has found one in three Americans prescribed an opioid didn’t know they were taking one.

Deborah Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council, tells the “KDKA Morning News” the memorial will come to Pittsburgh in January.

“It’s really to bring attention to the things that we deal with every day that harm us, and a lot of times we really become desensitized to that. The most dangerous drug, and the most fatal drug today is probably in people’s medicine cabinets, and they’re not recognizing it,” said Hersman.

For more, visit: www.stopeverydaykillers.org

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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