How an Opioid Overdose Map Helps Grieving Families

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Photo: Brett Sayer, Flickr
Media Outlet: The Fix

Jeremiah Lindemann was featured in an article on The Fix.

Jeremiah Lindemann experienced similar thoughts after his 22-year-old brother died from prescription drugs in 2007. Like my brother Will and I, Jeremiah and his brother had been very close.
“I considered him my best friend,” Jeremiah says of his younger brother, J.T. “He was good at so many things— I was a little jealous when we were growing up. He was good at sports, music—he was a really good drummer and guitarist. It felt like there was a light around him.”
But when someone dies from drugs or alcohol, it can be hard to explain that light to others.
“If I tried to talk to someone about J.T. afterward, it would turn into a quick conversation. People were pretty dismissive,” says Jeremiah. Sometimes, they were downright insensitive. “I had a former coworker who said, ‘I thought only people who were homeless did drugs.’”
For Jeremiah, the fact that his brother died from drugs was an issue he couldn’t avoid. Deaths from drug overdoses were rising sharply. “I started seeing it in the news so much and seeing all the stats about people dying,” he says.

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Jeremiah Lindemann is a Public Interest Technology Fellow at New America. He has over 16 years of working in the geospatial industry and works with Esri assisting local governments in their use of GIS.