Visualizing The Overdose Crisis at Photoville
72,306 people died of drug overdoses in 2017. That number eclipses the highest previous year by more than 10%, accounting for more than 198 deaths each day. To understand the magnitude of this number, it exceeds deaths attributed to firearms and car accidents —combined. Unfortunately, just like the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s, the federal government’s best plan has been to return to a strict crime-and-punishment model for a crisis that is demonstrably a matter of public health.
Sadly, this approach is failing.
Right now, a person dies from an overdose every seven minutes and 19 seconds in the United States. Luceo's Photoville exhibition illustrates that in real-time. A timer is displayed prominently in the exhibit, counting down to the next overdose. When it reaches zero a single steel bearing, representing a single life, falls onto the bell below before passing through the channel on the floor. When the bell rings, a single portrait on the wall --one of 198, representing the number of people who die each day --turns from white to red at random.
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