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Lincoln Park flag display remembers Coloradans lost to opioids in 2021

On the lawn of Lincoln Park on Wednesday sat 1,913 flags in a memorial display — 1,865 purple flags commemorating Coloradan lives lost to drug overdoses statewide in 2021 and 48 white flags in the center representing Mesa County residents who died from drug overdoses last year.

Wednesday was International Overdose Awareness Day, so St. Mary’s Medical Center partnered with the Mesa County Opioid Response Group (MCORG) to commemorate it and spread awareness of the ongoing local, statewide and nationwide opioid crisis.

In 2021, 107,622 people died in the United States from drug overdoses, up from 93,655 in 2020. Colorado’s drug overdose death total increased 26.5%, the 13th largest year-over-year increase in the country.