Opioid Overdose Memorial Controversy


MAY 7, 2018

Edited by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

SpringBoard Recovery was born from the passion and personal experience of its founders. We understand the real-world challenges of early recovery and are here to help and we are passionate about helping our clients lead balanced, healthy, and fulfilling lives.


The Controversy Surrounding the Opioid Overdose Memorial

If you have been keeping an eye on the news, you already know how tragic the opioid epidemic has become in recent years, taking and destroying many lives. To recognize the people who have lost their lives, President Trump revealed that the White House will host a memorial called Prescribed to Death. It will feature 22,000 faces engraved on pills, making the statement that prescription pain pills are at fault for the problem.

Although the National Safety Council had good intentions when it opted to create the memorial, not everyone believes it’s in good taste. In fact, the memorial has spawned a lot of controversy for those who are offended by it. Taking a look at the opioid problem and listening to people who have lost loved ones to drug addiction will paint a clear picture.


People who have lost family members and close friends feel as though the memorial dehumanizes victims of opioid overdose. From their perspective, having a problem with substance abuse does not define who a person is. People struggling with addiction come from all backgrounds and walks of life, and they have a range of interests and passions. They are human beings with hopes, fears and aspirations, not just statistics.

A lot of people view the memorial as a way to reduce addicts to their condition, letting it define who they were while they were alive. Rather than remembering the ones they lost for their problem with drugs, surviving friends and family want to remember the ones they lost for who they were as people.


Some people are mad because the memorial only highlights people who died following an addiction to prescription medications. Although a lot of overdose victims have died from using medicine that their doctors gave them, not everyone falls into that category. In fact, most deaths related to opioid addiction are linked to heroin and other street drugs, not pharmaceuticals. Those offended by the memorial believe that it honors one group and separates the others.

In their minds, the monument says that some victims of addiction are more worthy of being remembered than others. This statement upsets a lot of people because they don’t want the people they love to be viewed as less important than other victims. Many of them have been trying to stop the memorial but have not had any luck reaching their goal.

An Unrealistic Perspective

According to the opioid overdose memorial, a direct link exists between prescription opioids and overdose deaths, but looking at the facts reveals the truth. Doctors across the nation have reduced the number of opioid prescriptions they write, but the number of overdose deaths has continued to rise. This data show that cutting prescription medication alone does not solve the crisis that has been sweeping across the nation. The unrealistic approach could make it difficult for the country to find a real answer that could save lives and allow addicts to recover.

Getting Help with Opioid Addiction

If you or someone you know is facing an opioid addiction, taking fast action is vital. The right approach and support can help you overcome addiction and move your life in the right direction in no time. Putting your addiction in the past will protect your health and budget, and the drug will no longer have the power to control your actions. Most people are thrilled when they get and stay sober because they can see how far they have come. The choices you make now will play a role in the results you can expect in the future, so commit yourself to getting rid of the problem for good.

Getting into a licensed and accredited addiction treatment center is the best way for you to avoid temptation and stay on the road to recovery. At a treatment center, trained experts will learn about your needs and situation to craft a unique approach that will simplify the process and push you toward your intended outcome. A supervised detox program can let you fight the withdrawal symptoms with as little pain as possible. A quality treatment facility will even put you in touch with support groups in your area, and they can also improve your chance of recovering. If you are ready to take your life back, we invite you to contact SpringBoard Recovery as soon as possible to start your recovery.


  1. NSC: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/get-involved/prescribed-to-death-memorial
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction
  3. Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323465
  4. MedlinePlus: https://medlineplus.gov/opioidmisuseandaddiction.html
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/heroin
  6. American Psychiatric Association: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
  7. Life the Label: https://liftthelabel.org/wall/
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/prescribed.html
  9. Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction
  10. Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-withdrawal-how-long-does-it-last-63036

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MAY 7, 2018

Robert Castan is a member of the Executive Leadership Team at SpringBoard Recovery. Robert started his professional career as a house manager and has become an industry leader and trusted voice in the treatment world. He brings extensive knowledge of organizational growth, industry-leading outcomes, and comprehensive marketing to SpringBoard Recovery. Robert has been walking his own path of recovery for over 10 years. This path has truly driven his ambition to help make treatment available to others who are struggling with addiction. Robert finds great joy in traveling and keeping physically active, with an emphasis on biking. Robert resides in Arizona with his husband and two four-legged children.   The U.S. Alcohol Crisis, Still Deadlier Than the Opioid Epidemic   Zombies and Other Future Threats to the Health of American Youth Dire Mental Health: A Catalyst for Post-Pandemic Drug Addiction The Benefits of Rehab Center Staff Working Their Own Recovery Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Robert Castan on Successful Addiction Treatment and Entrepreneurship Castan: The road less traveled of addiction & recovery in Scottsdale Opioids & COVID Driving Phoenix’s Rising Fatal Drug Overdoses Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Successful Addiction Treatment Programs & Entrepreneurship

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