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.
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.
The movement aims to end the stigma associated with seeking treatment.
Survivors of opioid addiction, one of whom survived the Columbine shooting, shared their stories of struggle and recovery.
“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.
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.
The wall was moved from the park to inside the state Capitol where it will remain on display until May 31.