The Opioid Memorial Wall, a memorial to the lives lost to the opioid crisis, is on display in Carson City through Friday, Sept. 2. The wall was put in place by Partnership Carson City in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
The memorial wall is on display on the front lawn of the Attorney General’s office at 100 North Carson St.
The 16-foot-tall by 8-foot-wide wall is covered with dozens of empty pill bottles, each representing a death from an opioid overdose in Nevada.
“It’s a silent killer and sometimes you may not even know if someone is struggling with addiction. That’s why it’s so vital to talk about opioids with your children, youth, family members, or friends openly,” Samantha Szoyka, with Partnership Carson City, said. “It’s also a reminder to remove harmful drugs from your homes and safely dispose of them. An overdose can happen so quickly and leaves lasting pain.”
Data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that drug overdose deaths in Nevada from natural and synthetic opioids increased from January 2020 through January 2021 and continue to remain at high levels through March of this year.
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office reported in January an increase in fatal overdoses related to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Regional narcotics detectives said the people thought they were using cocaine or methamphetamine.
From January through September 2021 more than a quarter of drug-related deaths in Washoe County were fentanyl-related – 54 of the 201 deaths – according to data from the medical examiner’s office.
- State data on drug overdose deaths
- Nevada State Opioid Response, with information and training on harm reduction
- Prescription drug disposal locations in the Reno area
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.