Though I haven’t been personally affected by the opioid addiction/overdose crisis, I have suffered enough unrelenting hyper-anxiety to have known and enjoyed blissful release upon consuming alcohol and/or THC.
I also understand the callous politics involved with this most serious social issue. Government talk about increasing funding to make proper treatment available to low- and no-income addicts, however much it would alleviate their great suffering, generates firm opposition by the generally socially and fiscally conservative electorate. The reaction is largely due to the preconceived notion that drug addicts are weak-willed and/or have somehow committed a moral crime.
(Seemingly forgotten is how pharmaceutical corporations intentionally pushed their very addictive and profitable opiates but sustained relatively light consequences for doing so via civil litigation.)
Ignored is that such intense addiction does not usually originate from a bout of boredom, in which a person repeatedly consumed recreationally, but became heavily hooked on an unregulated and often-deadly chemical that eventually destroyed their life and even that of a very caring loved-one.
Rather, it likely resulted from his/her attempt at silencing, through self-medication, the pain of serious life trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I find that in this world a large number of people, however precious their lives, can be considered disposable.
Then those people may begin perceiving themselves as worthless and consume their addictive substances more haphazardly.
Although the cruel devaluation of them as human beings is basically based on their chronic self-medicating, it still reminds me of the devaluation, albeit perhaps subconsciously, of the daily civilian lives lost (aka “casualties”) in protractedly devastating civil war zones and sieges.
At some point, they can end up receiving a meagre couple of column inches in the First World’s daily news.
Frank Sterle Jr.
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