Daily Archives: September 3, 2015

Don’t Call Them Junkies

Junkie. What does that word conjure? Need I say more? Probably not, but I will.

How dehumanizing a term, just like all the others we use to put people we don’t understand, people who make us uncomfortable, in their place. Maybe such words don’t start out that way, but it’s what they become. We get this instant image, and the cringe that goes along with it. Or the apathy. Or the disdain. Usually the disdain. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard/read something like, “He knew what he was doing when he put that needle in his arm.”

Yes. He did. He knew the horror. He knew the risk. And he did it anyway. Doesn’t that say a whole world of things that get dismissed shortly after the above is stated?

A friend recently sent me an article, and a link to a rally happening in DC this October, organized by Face Addiction. The video is compelling. After it came another video done by Chris Herren, former NBA basketball player and now a speaker for addiction recovery. I don’t agree with everything Mr. Herren advocates, but one thing he said really hit me. When he speaks to school groups, he looks out over the crowd of teens and asks, “What is it about you that you feel the need to change every Friday and Saturday night?”

This, this is the part that even within the community working so hard to combat this thing killing our loved ones gets overlooked. It is the most basic, fundamental answer necessary to change. What lies behind the choice to use drugs? Answer that, you’re on your way. Address it, you’re further. Conquer it, you’ve won.

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