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There are 22,000 tiny faces carved into pills on this memorial for opioid overdose victims


WASHINGTON (Circa) - A new traveling exhibit unveiled in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday puts faces on the victims of accidental prescription opioid overdoses, literally.

The "Prescribed to Death" memorial, which was unveiled in President's Park in front of the White House, features a wall covered with 22,000 tiny pills, each one carved with a tiny face.

The pills represent the 22,000 people who died as a result of an accidental prescription opioid overdose in 2015.

Every 24 minutes, a computer numeric control (CNC) machine carves another face into a plastic pill to mark another life lost in the opioid crisis.

Debbie Hersman, the president and CEO of the National Security Council, which created the memorial, said she hopes people who come to see the wall will be encouraged to take steps in their own homes to curb the opioid epidemic.

The first step Hersman said people should take is making sure they know what drugs they have been prescribed.

"One out of every three people who are taking an opioid actually don't even know that it's an opioid drug that they're taking," Hersman said.

The National Safety Council will offer people free warning stickers to put on their health insurance or pharmacy cards. The stickers are meant to signal to doctors and pharmacists that they need to warn the patient about the dangers of any opioids they are being prescribed.

Hersman also said the National Safety Council will offer envelopes for people to mail in their old pain medication from their medicine cabinets. This can help prevent addicts from getting opioids without a prescription.

Visitors to the memorial can also listen to some of the stories of family members and friends who lost their loved ones to opioid overdoses and learn more about alternative pain relief options.

The exhibit also features a flipboard where visitors can add the names of loved ones they have lost to opioid overdoses.

The memorial, which launched in Chicago in November, will be on display in President's Park April 12-18.

Learn more about the memorial here:

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