A silent loss

“A person who has died due to intoxicants can be a person who has misused intoxicants and died. No more precise definition is needed. From the point of view of the cause of death investigation, an alcohol- or drug-related death is defined by certain criteria, but the visitor who ignites a star on the site has experienced a substance-specific loss, whatever the official cause of death may be.

Looking at the cause of death statistics alone, around 1,900 Finns die from alcohol and drugs every year. When we also include those who used substances harmfully, whose death is statistically not included in the causes of death due to substance abuse, the substance-specific loss can be estimated to affect several thousand close people annually. The stars that are lit here do not necessarily reflect the number of people who have died from drugs, but the number of those who are left mourning and the number of drug-specific loss experiences. It may have been years or decades since your loss, it doesn’t matter. Each star is equally meaningful to its igniter.”

Find more from Vaiettu menetys (Finland, November 2022)

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