Simon Says:  Why one guy mapping opioid deaths won’t get out of your head

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Take a look at the faces on this map.

They look so happy, don’t they?

Before you start feeling jealous, you should feel sad.

They’re all dead.  It’s more than 400 people who got hooked on heroin or pain pills and overdosed.   The interactive map was started Jeremiah Lindemann from Colorado. His brother OD’d eight years ago.

It’s more than 400 people who got hooked on heroin or pain pills and overdosed.   The interactive map was started Jeremiah Lindemann from Colorado. His brother OD’d eight years ago.

The interactive map was started Jeremiah Lindemann from Colorado. His brother OD’d eight years ago.

It’s very emotional when you see this country's opioid crisis a point and click at a time.

Looking at the map also made me realize something. I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

You ever think sometimes the only way to get anyone to really notice a problem is to put a face on the problem? Don’t you feel like we don’t go “all in” on an issue until we feel an emotional connection?

Think about AIDS.

How many of you didn’t care until you saw that picture of Rock Hudson or watched Magic’s moment?

Think about what’s going on in Syria.  How many of you really cared or gave a damn until you saw the picture of that little boy covered in smoke and debris?

How many of you really cared or gave a damn until you saw the picture of that little boy covered in smoke and debris?

Pictures can change perceptions quickly and right now, the opioid issue needs even more attention than it's already getting.

33,000 people a year are dying. That's nearly as many who die from the flu.

This issue should be front and center, but “go to” sites don’t even mention it on their front pages.  You have to actually search for “opioid” on the CDC and Health and Human Services websites. You’ll find informative material there, but it will take a little time.

You can also go the “top issues” section on whitehouse.gov page. You’ll find the economy and foreign policy are featured, but you won’t see “drug addictions.”

So,  it’s a good thing the opioid map has started. There are horrible stories here that may create some good by starting that emotional connection. Because unlike those government websites, the problem is staring us right in the face.