The street art addressing the heroin epidemic in Berwick disappeared as quickly as it appeared
This week, an anonymous artist stenciled "HEROIN KILLS" on the wall across from the Town Hall in Berwick, a giant symbolic syringe and a city building spray-stenciled three times along with the phone number to the addiction resource center in Brunswick Maine.
It is not currently known whether permissions from the current building owners were in place for the artist to add work on the wall, or if the artist was local, nor is it publicly known who sprayed over the artwork with the white paint.
It does seem as though this effort has some real support on social media...
"I think if this particular street art (heroin help) helped just one person, it's worth it" - J.M.
"No addict is going to attend the local gatherings with the drug task force at the Highschool, they are more likely to respond to something like this" - E.T.
Is hiding this work from the community the answer?
It is understood that permissions may not have been in place from the building owners, or that this particular art may not be what you would like to see when you stop at town hall to register your car or bring a client through to show real estate, but it certainly is a testament to the fact that there may need to be more efforts in place to combat this crisis throughout the Northeast, and for it to happen with a bit more haste.
There is some irony in play here, that the very wall that it was applied to is the very wall that stands as a deteriorating poisonous monument to the cycle of labor and poverty that fuels problems like addiction and lack of health care throughout America.
Bureaucracy is something artists do not tend to have the patience for, and after the overdose of a well loved poet and artist in Dover, NH, the urgency to save more lives has been at the forefront of discussions in creative circles around the Seacoast. In Berwick, there are efforts and progress to both break down the walls of Prime Tanning and bust open the barriers to addiction, but apparently, those efforts aren't moving fast enough for this particular artist. There are more people struggling and dying from the heroin epidemic daily, and we can only hope, that someone saw, and called, this number before it was removed, and that one more life was saved.
Maine Drug Addiction Treatment Help Line
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