Interactive map remembers loved ones lost to opioids
Marissa Ann Swingle, a resident of Greentown in Pike County, Pa., who died on Dec. 18, 2016, at age 25
The National Safety Council has launched an interactive memorial, Celebrating Lost Loved Ones, to honor those who have lost their lives to opioids. This mapping technology allows users to add photos and homages to their loved ones, along with the place of their death. It is a visual record of the terrible human toll behind the opioid crisis. "Beautiful daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece!" says the memorial to Marissa Ann Swingle, a resident of Greentown in Pike County, Pa., who died on Dec. 18, 2016, at age 25. "Loved by everyone that met her!" Michael Joseph Wiesmeth of West Milford, N.J., died on April 23, 2017, at age 27: "He was taken too soon by fentanyl/heroin. He was an amazing son, brother, uncle, and friend. He is missed dearly. I am posting to encourage anyone who is reading this to reach out for help if they are struggling with addiction. Rest easy, Mikeo." Aaron Armstrong, a resident of Monroe in Orange County, N.Y., is also remembered: "Seems like only yesterday we laughed our last laugh together. Wishing just for one more moment, one more day, one more laugh....Heaven holds you safe now, to watch upon us all. Until we meet again, I'll hold your memories in my heart." The National Safety Council is using the map to help raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and reduce the stigma around opioid-related deaths. "We are losing far too many loved ones to the opioid epidemic," the council says. "In 2016, we lost over 37,814 people, people we love and care about. While we cannot bring them back, we can honor them and continue to educate the public on the dangers of opioids." The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. To see the map or create a post, visit https://losttoopioids.nsc.org/index.html.