DENVER (CBS4)– A new memorial has 42,000 prescription bottles on display that represent the 42,000 lives lost nationwide to opioid addiction.

The “Lift the Label” statewide opioid anti-stigma campaign was launched and unveiled in Civic Center Park on Monday. More people die from opioid overdoses than traffic accidents and homicides combined.

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(credit: CBS)

As the health crisis continues to grow, nationwide and in Colorado, the goal of the memorial is to let those who are addicted to opioids know that they are more than just a label.

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The movement aims to end the stigma associated with seeking treatment.

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Survivors of opioid addiction, one of whom survived the Columbine shooting, shared their stories of struggle and recovery.

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“If you or somebody you know is struggling with addiction, reach out for help. Even as important, if you or somebody you know is struggling to overcome addiction, encourage them to be loud and be proud about that. People need to hear these voices. Addiction is not a moral failing. I never had a choice in the decisions that I made. We have to overcome this,” said Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks.

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People are encouraged to write on the back of the wall the names of loved ones who have struggled with or lost their lives to opioid addiction.

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The wall was moved from the park to inside the state Capitol where it will remain on display until May 31.

Comments (3)
  1. You should check your facts, cause if you are using that bogus report from the CDC then you are completely wrong. They admitted that their reporting was faulty and that the majority of the deaths were due to drug addicts, and illicit drugs. A new word you need to learn is “dependent” that’s what pain patients are, not addicted. We would love nothing more than to be cured so we don’t have to take pain medication, and also so we could get back to the business of living, instead of suffering everyday and being bed ridden. If you are lumping pain patients in that number then you should be sued for slander. It’s faulty reporting like this that is causing harm to us. I would like to see the study where you are getting this information from. I don’t see any citations for this article so did you just make up this story for the fun of it or was it to cause additional harm to people who are unwell, and struggling with uncontrollable pain?

  2. Prescription bottles are a terrible and dangerous metaphor. Very few of the overdose deaths in Colorado or any other state are attributable to legally prescribed medication for a legitimate pain condition. Virtually all overdose deaths are people who stole medication that was not theirs, people who obtained medication fraudulently from scam physicians, or people who combined medication with illicit substances.

  3. What are they going to do when they find out what a huge mistake they have made.The CDC numbers were false and over inflated.Doesn’t matter if you died of a heart attack,or a car accident,if you had an opiate in your system it was counted as a death.Also the deaths are not from prescriptions,they are from illegal fentanyl and heroin making it over our borders.Pain patients are not selling their drugs, nor are they addicted.There is a huge difference between taking something for recreation versus taking something for a health reason (to function and control your quality of life) .I smell Suboxone clinics and I smell politicians making some kickbacks.

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