When we all attended the ‘Unite to Face Addiction’ rally back in October 2015 I really felt we were turning a corner and finally, finally we were at the dawn of a new attitude and direction for treating and discussing addiction. For decades, we have been stuck in the belief system that addiction, alcoholism and any kind of substance misuse is down to some kind of moral failing of the user. Surprisingly, this attitude has been also perpetuated by the recovery community, in their one-size-fits all, attitude to recovery and the mistaken belief that anonymity = secrecy. Which therefore, lead people to believe we had something to be ashamed of.
We don’t, of course. The first ever Surgeon General’s report into addiction states: ‘Addiction is a disease of the brain, not a character flaw.’
The report itself is ground breaking and long overdue. We hope it can do for addiction what the surgeon general’s report did for smoking fifty years ago. That we can start investing in research-driven prevention and treatment programs. This is a public health crisis, not a criminal one.
I keep reading about the opiate addiction and overdose crisis but I do not see anything substantial being done to combat it. There have been a few initiatives in different areas but no cohesive nation wide strategy.
Let me remind you, that many of the kids who are dying of opiate overdoses became addicted through sports injuries. You may think this won’t happen to you, but no family is immune.
It really felt like we were beginning to get somewhere and then we have this. Our new attorney general who is, quiet possibly, the only American left who thought the 1980’s ‘Just say no’ campaign was a good thing.
His beliefs about marijuana will tell you everything you need to know about what we can expect, ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana.’
I am, therefore, not a ‘good’ person as defined by Jeff Sessions, I must confess I have smoked marijuana. You may know people who currently smoke marijuana and now you can put them in the ‘not good people’ bin. Because eventually, that’s where Sessions will put them, except his ‘bin’ is called, for-profit, *Ka-ching* prison’s.
For-profit prisons need a supply of inmates. The purpose of for-profit companies is to, ahem, increase their profits. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
Perpetuating the faulty, no-basis in science, stuck in the 1980’s, belief that good people don’t use drugs is a catastrophe for anyone with an interest, or a loved one affected by addiction.