Thirty-year-old Madelyn Linsenmeir, pictured on one of her routine walks with son Ayden. "Her abuse did not define her, but…
Courtesy of Maura O & # 39; Neill
Every day, the opioid epidemic claims an estimated 115 lives. But rarely, any accident gets the kind of attention that the death row of a young mom, published on the Burlington Free Press, received earlier this week.
In the death row, Kate writes Neill about how her sister Madelyn Linsenmeir’s 12-year battle of addiction led to her death. Under a photo of the smiling 30-year-old, her granddaughter raised her back, O & # 39; Neill portrayed Linsenmeir as a rounded, talented singer and a warm presence.
“Even if we would have paid some redemption fee to get her back, any price in the world, this disease would not let her go until she left,” says Neill about his sister.
O & # 39, Neill never expected to get the move as it did. Big media, from The Washington Post to People magazine, described Linsenmeir’s obit as “heartbreaking” and “poignant.” On Twitter, Ivanka Trump stated ] Linsenmeir’s history as “raw” and “devastating.”
Unlike an opioid crisis that grabbed grip on almost all corners of the country, which made her story so much resonate?
Neill thinks opioid addiction is thoroughly explaining why her sister’s obituary touched so many people. “It’s their story, or their relatives, or their daughter’s story or story of their coworkers daughter,” she tells NPR’s Scott Simon.
Tragically, O & # 39; Neill says that the stigma of abuse adds too many barriers to saving lives, even though almost one third of Americans know someone who has or has been addicted to opioids, according to the US Psychiatric Society.
Neill felt that she could not pay tribute to her sister without emphasizing the realities of an abuse that began at the age of 16 when Linsenmeir first tried prescription pain-relieving doctor OxyContin at a college party.
“That part of her life, it was so central to who she was as an adult,” she says. “Her abuse did not define her, but it defined how she lived. Not including it would not have been an exact glory of who she was.”
“I want people to know that Maddie is a face of that she says.” So many people with addiction do not resemble the photo [of Maddie]”she says.” Maddie did not resemble that photo when she was in her breach of use. “
Courtesy of Kate O & # 39; Neill
Brandon del Pozo, a policeman in Linsenmeir’s hometown of Burlington, agrees with that point. But he regrets that the thousands of lives lost to abuse each year can not keep the nation’s attention in much the same way that Linsenmeir’s history could do. More than a week after death, her story managed to last lasting in the midst of today’s tumultuous news cycle.
In a Facebook post, Pozo wrote:
Did the readers say that it was the first time a beautiful young beloved mother from a pastoral state became addicted to Oxy and died from the descent it made? And what about the rest of the victims, who were not so beautiful and lived in unspoilt towns or rocks? They also had mothers crying for them and blaming themselves.
Obit was “moving and true”, part Pozo tells NPR: “But it’s not new.” He felt compelled to react to the accelerating national attraction when People – a publication with a massive and varied reader – published Linsenmeir’s history. “We should have had this conversation years ago,” he says.
As he claimed on Facebook, “[I] Maddie was a black guy from Bronx who found death in his bathroom by an overdose, regardless of whether the ward’s death writer had won [Man] the Book Prize, there would be no cruel article in People about it. “
He points out that the last wave of opioid epidemic has shed over all races and classes in the last decade.
“People say they care, but the best political answers have fallen on deaf ears,” he says.
When Pozo entered the Policf in 2015, he was dropped by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger to help lead the city’s public health project.
This year, the police chief said the Burlington Police collaborated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Police Executive Research Forum to establish best practices that city leaders can take to reduce opioid-related deaths.
Among the best practices that the city has implemented is to facilitate access to buprenorphine – a drug for addiction that many doctors still can not prescribe.
“If you ask public health researchers what we are going to do [to combat opioid abuse]we’ll do it,” says Pozo.
Kate Neills’s thoughts on how to fight opioid killings are in line with Burlington’s city leader. “Our hope lies now also with politicians and politicians and the people who can make the change necessary so that these deaths stop happening, “she says.” Let’s put our money where our tweets are. “