Erica Clark – Asst. News Editor
This week in Coventry, an artist took his protest against the opioid crisis and transformed it into art.
Domenic Esposito created a 10-foot, 800-pound sculpture of a heroin spoon on the sidewalk Thursday morning in front of Rhodes Pharmaceuticals.
Esposito says he feels Big Pharma as a whole has played a major role in the ongoing opioid epidemic. The spoon sculpture represents what heroin addicts often use before injecting.
“My talent is art and metal working. That’s what I love to do. I’m using that talent to try and bring awareness and accountability to the opioid crisis,” said Esposito to NBC 10, who’s based in Boston.
Rhodes Pharmaceuticals’ website lists the drugs it manufactures, including the opioid painkiller oxycodone hydrochloride.
The pharmaceutical industry has been previously accused of overprescribing drugs and profiting from them.
This protest hits a personal spot for Esposito, mentioning “My brother has been battling this addiction for the last 12 years,” he said.
The Opioid Spoon Project, the inspiration behind Esposito’s art, is a universal project geared towards the dark reality of the opioid crisis. On the project’s Facebook, they mention the spoon has “spawned an outcry” across the country and even internationally.
This artist-led all-inclusive project promotes awareness and change in the opioid crisis that has affected countless lives and families around the world.
Esposito first spoon drop was with a different but similar sculpture in front of Purdue Pharma in Connecticut in June.
Coventry police were required to move the spoon as it was on the sidewalk, which is considered public space.
Rhodes Pharmaceuticals did not respond to request for comment.