Celebrate Lost Loved Ones Map: Mapping our way out of the Opioid Epidemic:
Hey there. The opioid epidemic is still raging, and people are still dying as a result. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic made it worse. The opioid epidemic is the biggest health disinformation campaigns in my lifetime. It was fueled by a cartel…though not the typical drug cartels that pop in your mind when you think about illegal drugs, it was a cartel of health professionals, drug companies, government consultants, regulators, pharmacies and even practicing doctors who took an oath to “first do no harm.” It was a professional web of betrayal that caught and killed a lot of people who didn’t know any better.
While my blog and podcast targets the causes of the opioid epidemic, today’s episode highlights the helpers. My guest is Jeremiah Lindemann, the creator of the Celebrate Lost Loved Ones Map, a cyber-place where grieving folks can go to post a story about a family member or friend who died in the Opioid Epidemic. Anyone can visit and post on the map, but even if you have no one to post, the map is worth seeing. I browsed through some of the entries in my hometown…and it’s, well, sobering. It’s just sad.
In the podcast, Il’l chat with Jeremiah about how he is using his data, geographic information system and mapping skills to combat the opioid epidemic. Inspired by the loss of his brother to the opioid epidemic, he will discuss the creation of the “Celebrate Lost Loved Ones” map, hosted by the National Safety Council, who visits the map, and trends he notices. He will discuss how he became an “accidental” public health professional and how he obtains data to create specific maps that are useful for helping state and local governments take on the opioid epidemic in more efficient ways. Remember that the states are getting large chucks of settlement money from drug companies that they will use to combat the opioid epidemic. They need evidence-based guidance for how to best use the funds so as to make a significant impact in their community. Otherwise they risk wasting a lot of money. Mapping is a cost-effective tool they can consider using. Jeremiah ends the podcast by sharing what he thinks needs to be prioritized to bring the opioid epidemic to an end.
Who is Jeremiah?
Jeremiah is an ArcGIS Solutions product engineer with over 20 years of experience, including consulting for state and local governments.
How can you get to the Celebrate Lost Loved Ones Map?
If you want to visit the map and/or lost someone to the opioid epidemic and want to share his/her story and/or photo on the Celebrate Lost Loved Ones map, you can do so here.
To listen to the podcast episode with Jeremiah, please click here!
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