Chris Gromek uses his back to lift a stainless steel sculpture of a burnt heroin spoon weighing around 800 pounds with artist Domenic Esposito, left, and Spoon Movement gallery owner Fernando Alvarez, wearing hat, outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston on October 26, 2018. Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.
For more than a decade, Danny Esposito has been struggling with opioid addiction.
“My mom would call me in a panic... screaming she found another burnt spoon,” his brother, sculptor Domenic Esposito, told the Hartford Courant. “This is a story thousands of families go through. He’s lucky to be alive.” Many aren’t as lucky: Each day in the U.S., more than 115 people die after overdosing on opioids.
On Friday, several mothers whose children were casualties of the current crisis protested on Boston’s Beacon Hill, holding photos of their perished loved ones alongside a sculpture given to the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura T. Healey.
“Today Fernando Alvarez and I delivered the Purdue Spoon to the Massachusetts State House as a gift to State AG Maura Healey,” Esposito wrote on his Instagram. The “gift” is Esposito’s 800-pound burnt heroin spoon, which made headlines in June. Healey was being honored for her part in fighting the opioid epidemic by suing Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, for allegedly misleading doctors and patients about the dangers of its drugs.
Previously, the spoon had served as a sign of protest rather than praise when it was installed by Alvarez, a gallerist who represents Esposito, in front of the Stamford, Connecticut headquarters of Purdue Pharma to shame the company. When he refused to move it in June, Alvarez was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing free passage.