Black Poster Project raises awareness of lives lost to addiction

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Black-framed posters at Windward Beach in Brick represented the lives lost to addiction. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Silent memorials in the form of black posters were set up on Windward Beach Park on Sunday to commemorate lives lost to heroin addiction.

The 379 posters were organized represent veterans who died from addiction, those from the same family who were lost, and 150 individual lives lost. Dee Gillen who helped start the project in 2018, said that every life lost to addiction, that of son Scott, have led survivors across New Jersey and New York to connect and share the stories of addiction victims.

Rows of posters were set up in the grass from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. They featured images of those lost, along with their names and stories.

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Also posted at the memorial site were facts about heroin and related addictions, including the numbers. From Sept. 9, 2019 to Sept. 9, 2020, 90,237 people died from overdoses — an increase of about 30 percent, year over year. Eight out of 10 of such deaths are caused by synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Members of the Pipes and Drums of the Jersey Shore honored the lives lost with a rendition of taps. Mayor John Ducey and Police Chief James Riccio also participated.

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