By
Holly Jespersen

Digital memorial gives families and friends a place to memorialize their loved-one without shame and to honor those lost to this treatable disease

August 31, 2020, New York, NY – Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States, launched today on National Overdose Awareness Day an online National Addiction Memorial to honor the lives lost to addiction. The free online memorial is a space where families can share photos and stories of their loved ones to create a lasting legacy and be a powerful reminder of the impact of addiction on families and those we love. 

With more than 100,000 lives lost annually to addiction related deaths and overdoses mortality spiking in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Addiction Memorial is meant to share with the nation the devastation addiction is having on our nation. 

“It is so important that the country better understand addiction as a disease and not see the lives lost as statistics but as real humans who were not bad people but loved ones overcome by a bad disease,” said Gary Mendell Found and CEO of Shatterproof. “When I lost my son Brian nearly nine years ago to this disease, it nearly shattered me and my family. At Shatterproof, we are here to support and empower our communities and honor those we have lost, and the National Addiction Memorial is one way we can help.”

There are nearly 2,000 loved ones currently commemorated in the National Addiction Memorial with an expectation that it will grow by many thousands more. 

According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control report, in 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. Opioids—mainly synthetic opioids (other than methadone)—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 46,802 overdose deaths in 2018 (69.5% of all drug overdose deaths) with two out of three (67.0%) opioid-involved overdose deaths involve synthetic opioids.

Since this report, news sources and local communities have been reporting an increase in overdoses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All are welcome to create a memorial at www.NationalAddictionMemorial.org at no cost and to share that memorial through social media or with friends and family.

About Shatterproof:
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the course of the addiction crisis in America. Shatterproof is focused on ensuring that American substance use disorder treatment is based upon proven research and ending the stigma of addiction. The organization advocates for changes to federal and state policy, payer reform, treatment quality assessment, and provides public education through online programs. For more information, visit www.Shatterproof.org.