Interactive map of overdose deaths brings opioid crisis closer to home

Share Button

When 17-year-old Austin Padaric died of a morphine overdose in 2013, his mother wanted to put him on the map.

This map, to be specific: Celebrating Lost Loved Ones, an interactive obituary of sorts for victims of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and Canada.

“We’re trying to get as many people as possible to upload their loved one,” said Christine Padaric, Austin’s mother, who now educates young people about harm reduction in Waterloo, Ont.

Those who have lost a friend or family member can enter photos and memories to the database, Padaric said. She discovered the map, created by a Colorado man who lost his brother to opioid addiction nine years ago, from a colleague last year.

She’s been promoting it on her Facebook group, Overdose Canada, ever since.

Austin Padaric

Austin Padaric was just 17 when he accidentally consumed a fatal dose of morphine. His mother, Christine, now works to educate young people about harm reduction. (Christine Padaric)

There are over 570 entries so far.

“It puts a face to a name, so you can see that these are just regular people. You can see my son on there — he’s just a kid,” Padaric said.

“That’s what I’m trying to get across. This can happen to anyone.”

Bringing the crisis to your doorstep

Jeremiah Lindemann, the software developer who created the map, knows that all too well.

At 23, his brother Jameson, or J.T., had a warm smile and a talent for playing drums.

When J.T. died nine years ago, his autopsy showed high levels of oxycodone and methadone, Lindemann said.

J.T. Lindemann

Jameson Tanner Lindemann was the first to be marked on the overdose map his brother, Jeremiah, created. He died on Sept. 13, 2007, from a suspected opioid overdose. (Jeremiah Lindemann)

Lindemann, who lives in Denver, Co., admits at first he didn’t want to talk about J.T.’s struggle with addiction. But three years ago, he began hearing about overdose deaths everywhere.

“It’s getting worse every year,” he said. “So, I thought, maybe we can visualize this a bit better than just looking at some numbers.”

View original article:  

Interactive map of overdose deaths brings opioid crisis closer to home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *